ISSUE No 6, SEPTEMBER 2013
Chania POST The best affordable way to travel Western Crete. Public regular bus service to Chania - Rethimno - Heraklion... and to all the villages of southwestern Crete
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With a local services section, a range of advertisers and pages of free classfieds, the Chania Post is an essential E D I S N I resource for anyone living FREE n Map w o T ld O in or just visiting this area of Chania s Map ia n a t la P Your Travel Guide p. 44-53 Crete.
VIP in Crete for their summer holidays What they did, where they went, why they chose the island
Read the full article on Cretan ntakos going for the Guinness Book of Records 8m long and looking like Crete >>p.30
The “champion” of wines... Liastos from Romeiko by Karavitakis Winery 1st in the IWC in Berlin >>p.22
INDEPENDENT: “The 10 Best olive oils” One of them is coming from Crete >> p.18
Read also in this issue... GUARDIAN: “Greece’s food crisis” Families face going hungry during summer shutdown. Up to 90% in the poorest neighbourhoods rely on food banks and soup kitchens >>p.20 Exclusive photos of a... Truman show in the Mediterranean Chania Post on board with the crew of CVN-75 USS “Harry Truman” >>p.4 DAILY MAIL: The secret plane stuffed full of cash that saved the euro Billions of euros were flown to Greece and Cyprus to save the currency >>p.16 Which Greek island should you go to? A tribute to Greece from CNN by Sanjay Surana. Crete is in the 1st place for its food >>p.24
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Find CHANIA POST at the following points: CHANIA: Municipal Market, Airport, Public Bus Central Station, Old Harbour, Municipal Tourist Information Desk PLATANIAS: Central Square Infokiosk, Botanical Park KISSAMOS: Gramvousa and Balos boats, Elafonissi, Falassarna KANDANOS-SELINO: Paleochora Info Desk, Sougia, Kandanos SFAKIA: Hora Sfakion Infokiosk, Loutro, Agia Roumeli, ANENDYK boats APOKORONAS: Georgioupoli, Kavros, Vamos, Kalyves, Vrysses
VIP in Crete for their summer holidays
Tourists have money but they don’t spend much in the local market during their vacations
What they did, where they went, why they chose the island Giorgio Armani ‘s cruiser “MAIN” outside Loutro
Also in Chania taxis, Limnoupolis Water Park and in selected cafes, businesses and shops throughout Chania Prefecture. CHANIA POST... on the go
Laura Naryes - ANT1 TV Hostess A lot of celebrities chose Chania this summer for their summer vacations.
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FTP (Free Tourist Press) Publications CHANIA POST The local free newspaper for the Chania area Owner/Publisher: FTP Publications 73, Eleftheriou Venizelou str., Chania, 73100 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org E-Publication: http://www.chaniapost.eu Editors: P. Giaitsis, J. Kriaras (real estate agent), M. Kriaraki/N. Tsatsaronis (outdoor activities), M. Markatos (pneumonologist), P. Marinakis (theme park) N. Voulgaraki (nutritionist), E. Cradick (weddings) Advertising: STORM Adv. 28210-50112, 6977341751, 6977295075 DTP: FTP Publicatons
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cred land. We will be here when you return From October ‘s issue our newsThe message and the medium Hospitality, virtue, honour and friendship are the basicinprincito Crete next summer. paper will offer news both
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ples in the soul of every Cretan. That is what we want you to
Summer has ended and many We are sure that you loved our Greek and English language New times demand new journalism even via traditional media feel as long as you stay in Crete for your holidays... that is our of will return to your with message.beauties, till next April... the time which likeyou the newspaper. A new way ofhome informingisland visitors of Creteits is natural is going through the most difficult time in its history. coming through the pages the issue you have your hands. Greece countries having the of best memtheonsightseeings, the traditional many of you may come back to But all those who visit our country understand that we try to Chania Post is your local free paper, from the very fi rst minute ories of your vacations in Crete food and the hospitality of all Chania for your vacation. you are coming to Chania. Our goal is for all of our readers to offer as much as we can. Believe us! We are trying to regain the and especially in fiChania. So,all for have thesenow, years. we We owe it toto ourthank rich use this issue as their rst guide to Chania, asCretans. their every morn- bet of the dignity we lost you and that we you arealllooking forAll usofinreading, CHANIA POST have to paper CHANIA POST making a bighistory to the Greek andall culture know what ing of piece as their accompanying in every spot ispast, has off ered to the people of Europe. Thank you for coming to of Chania area. thank you for your support and change in order to reach much ward to see you again. So, we welcome you to Chania, we welcome you to Crete, home our country, thank you for believing to Greeks, thank you for your choice to read us during more readers and offer much of Xenios Zeus the protector of visitors, who generously offers believing to our effort by reading these lines. your holidays. information. Pandelis Giaitsis your visit. his hospitality to every stranger who wishesmore to honour his sa- Our CHANIA POST welcomes you to Crete! Enjoy Republication, reproduction (total, partial, paraphrase or adaptation) of the content of the newspaper in any manner (mechanical, photocopying, recording or other) is prohibited without the prior written permission of the publisher. Act 2121/1993 and Rules of International Law applicable in Greece. All rights reserved by © FTP Publications S.A., Chania, Crete, 2013.
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Eleni Menegaki - ALPHA TV Hostess
Eleonora Meleti - STAR TV Hostess lou and the chairman of ALPHA TV Dimitris Kontominas. All of them were on board “Quintessa”, Mr Kontominas ‘s yacht. All of them have visited Sfakia, where they tasted all local traditional recipes. Except Sfakia, Eleni Menegaki chose to swim in the beautiful and famous beach of Balos.
GIORGIO ARMANI After Christiano Ronaldo, who came to Lassithi in July, Giorgio Armani, one of the most famous fashion designers visited Chania on its sea cruiser “MAIN”. Armani, who happens to be a great ELEONORA MELETI admirer of Greece, arrived in ChaIt is well known that Eleonora loves nia with his 12 friends and spent a Crete. This summer she went to whole week, visiting almost every Agia Pelagia for a week, together secret beach. Maria Iliaki - ALPHA TV Hostess with her girlfriend, Samantha AposHe first arrived at the port of Souda and visited the city of Chania, having dinner in a traditional tolopoulou. tavern ai the small port of Agia Kiriaki. In a traditional Cretan feast, she danced “sousta” a local traArmani also went to Thodorou island on a smaller boat and ditional dance of Crete. about four to five members of his company. Even in her holidays, she didn’t stop to work out. Then, he went to Paleochora and Sfakia, from where he enjoyed swimming in small secret beaches just outside Loutro MARIA ILIAKI (Glika Nera and Marmara) and Agia Roumeli. Even though she is from Heraklion, Maria loves to swin in The Italian designer’s visit to Crete after his holiday-making Falassarna. That’ what she did this summer! in Kefalonia, was one of the best advertisements for Greece She also went to Sfakia and Paleochora. She loves to eat to people abroad that may tempt more tourists to choose Cretan food, especially dakos. the country for their summer break. OTHERS ELENI MENEGAKI Many other celebrities came to Chania this summer. Some The famous ALPHA TV hostess Eleni Menegaki came to of them were Laura Naryes, Sakis Rouvas (singer), George Chania with his friend Makis Pantzopoulos, the actor Chris- Tsimitselis (actor), Christos Nezos (TV host), George Kampatoforos Papakaliatis, the TV hostess Konstantina Spiropou- nis (singer), Penelope Anastaassopoulos, etc.
Thousands of tourists have visited Crete this summer. Although most of them came with a “full” wallet, they didn;t spend much in the local market. They are visiting Crete on a short vacation with a full wallet, but when they come in to a shop, things change and begin the bazaars, which has caused a bad impression on local shopkeepers. In a survey in Chania tourists can spend up to 1000 euros per person for 10 days including flights and accommodation. For seven days in Chania a tourist fron Scotland paid for tickets and accommodation 800 euros, while a family from Holland paid for 12 days 2200 euros. Crete is one of the 10 most visited destinations offering 21% of beds. In Crete, 85% of visitors are arriving from Western Europe, 21.2% from the United Kingdom, 17.5% in Germany, 8.8% in Italy, 5.3% from France 5.2% from the Netherlands and 7.5% from the Nordic countries. But Greece is a premier tourist destination in the last 10 years. The number of tourists is increasing steadily. In 2004 14.2 people visited the country, a number which has been raised to 17 million in 2008 and it is expected that visitors will reach 20 million in the next year, almost twice the population of the country.
The biggest ever serenade in Crete was organized by the Cultural Club of Anogia A Serenade for... record marked the 100th anniversary of the Union of Crete with Greece. It was organized at the historical village of Anogia by the local Cultural Club. More than 500 dancers from all over Crete, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi and 38 bands met in Anogeia to honor the timeless Cretan struggle for freedom and national independence.
Norwegians No1 summer destination: Greece The media reports an increase of Norwegian tourists to Greece for 2013, despite the financial crisis. Crete and Rhodes are the most popular destinations. The newspaper “Dagbladet” writes that Norwegian tourism to Greece will increase by 10% this summer. The total number is estimated to be 280.000. The sunny island of Crete is the most popular destination. According to the newspaper “Aftenposten” many Norwegians are acquainted with Greece and life on the Greek islands. Positive experiences from previous years make them return yet again.
Photos: Kostas Herekakis
Cpt Bob Roth
Orthodox Priest Ioannis Kalantzis
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PLACES AND BEACHES FOR SWIMMING IN SFAKIA Agia Roumeli
Medieval castle, 12 km east from Hora Sfakion, known for “Drossoulites”
All these gorges run from north to south and all end in the sea. Many of them can be walked, several even by inexperienced walkers. The region is inhabited by rare animals, like vultures and eagles, and the kri-kri (or agrimi), the wild Cretan goat. The coast of Sfakiá is on the Libyan Sea, which is inhabited by a diminishing fish population, but occasionally dolphins, and even whales may be seen. The local speciality, “Sfakian Pies”, are thin pancakes filled with cream cheese and served drizzled with honey.
The south exit of Samaria Gorge... try it backwards to Portes
Sfakia is a mountainous area in the southwestern part of the island of Crete, in the Chania regional unit. It is considered one of the few places in Greece to never have been fully occupied by foreign powers. With a 2011 census population of 1,889 inhabitants living on a land area of 467,58 km², Sfakia is one of the largest and least densely populated municipalities on the island of Crete. The etymology of its name is disputed. According to the prevailing theory, it relates to its rugged terrain, deriving from the ancient Greek word sfaks, meaning land chasm or gorge. The road from Chania to Sfakiá crosses the island from north to south, through the village of Vryses. From this vil-
Birth place of the hero rebel Yiannis Daskaloyiannis (1722 - 1771)
lage the route crosses the White Mountains (Lefká Óri) to Hóra Sfakíon by the Libyan Sea. Halfway from Vrisses to Hóra Sfakíon is the fertile plateau of Askifou, surrounded by high mountain peaks. From here to Hóra Sfakíon the road is particularly spectacular. The road hugs the western slope of the Imbros Gorge with breathtaking views. Another scenic route is that leading from Kapsodasos to the plateau of Kallikratis, northeast of Hóra Sfakíon. There are many beaches in Sfakiá which do not see the numbers of tourists of the northern coast. More adventurous visitors can follow the European hiking footpath E4 which crosses Crete through Sfakiá’s mountains. The coastal villages are not connected by a coastal road, but can be
For those who love bungee jumping is the best place to be
One of the best places in Crete, where you can taste Sfakian pies
reached by ferry boats. Not far east from Hóra Sfakíon is Frangokastello, literally “Frankish castle”. The Venetian fortress here was built in 1371 to deter pirates and unsuccessfully, to control Sfakiá. It is largely ruined but is picturesquely set on a wide sandy beach with the towering White Mountains behind. Daskalogiannis was captured here in 1771. Accessible only by boat from Sfakiá is Loutro, a small seaside village with some archaeological ruins, a few houses, small hotels and tavernas. Loutro is car-free; cars must be parked in Hóra Sfakíon or Paleohóra. In the north of Sfakiá is the fertile plain of Askyfou. The Sfakía region is crossed by many gorges, among which is the famous Samaria Gorge.
Resistance Hóra Sfakíon is famous as one of the centers of the resistance against the occupying forces of both the Venetians and the Turks. The impenetrable White Mountains to the north combined with the rocky beaches on the south helped the locals fight off all invaders. Anopolis, a village near Hóra Sfakíon, is the birthplace of one of the most celebrated Cretan revolutionaries, Daskalogiannis. A famous legend and unexplained phenomenon describes a procession of visions (Drosoulites) seen in the nearby village Frangokastello as troops that died in the war of independence against the Turks. Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote about the tall proud Sfakians and their resistance to occupation. Many tales of revolts and uprisings in Crete start in the mountains of western Crete mountain guerillas, pallikari fighters and rebel assemblies. After the Battle of Crete during World War II, the locals helped many New Zealand and Australian soldiers escape from here on the night of May 31, 1941, suffering great reprisals. King George II of Greece had already escaped this way when the Germans invaded. Near the village of Komit-
ades is the Church of Panagia Thymiani where the revolution of 1821 began. At the village of Loutro is the ruined “chancellery” where the first revolutionary government of 1821 met. Sfakiá is notorious for the harshness of the environment and the warlike people. Sfakians themselves are still considered somewhat beyond the reach of the lawmakers and tax collectors of Athens, with vendettas over stolen sheep and women’s honour still fought late into the 20th century, with a whole village abandoned. Stealing and banditry had been considered a way of life in the mountains, even appearing in a Creation myth, which made God Himself a Sfakiot, as recounted by Adam Hopkins: ...with an account of all the gifts God had given to other parts of Crete - olives to Ierapetra, Ayios Vasilios and Selinou; wine to Malevisi and Kissamou; cherries to Mylapotamos and Amari. But when God got to Sfakia only rocks were left. So the Sfakiots appeared before Him armed to the teeth. “And us Lord, how are we going to live on these rocks?” and the Almighty, looking at them with sympathy, replied in their own dialect (naturally): “Haven’t you got a scrap of brains in your head? Don’t you see that the lowlanders are cultivating all these riches for you?” The Sfakians are also famous for their hospitality and generosity towards guests, resulting in a shift from traditional labour towards tourism, with now many families running their own small hotel or restaurant. Province The province of Sfakia (Greek: Επαρχία Σφακίων) was one of
the provinces of the Chania Prefecture. It had the same territory as the present municipality. It was abolished in 2006. Municipal unit of Sfakia Agia Roumeli, Agios Ioannis, Anopoli, Asfendos, Askyfou, Chora Sfakion, Impros, Kallikratis, Loutro, Patsianos, Skaloti. The Sfakians (or Sphakians or Sfakiots; Greek: Σφακιανοί) are the inhabitants of the region of Sfakia located in western Crete. The Sfakians hold themselves to be the direct descendants of the Dorians who invaded the island around 1100 BC. The inhabitants of Sfakia have faced numerous foreign invaders, to which fact they owe their reputation as courageous warriors that they have had for centuries as cousins of the Maniots and Souliots. Archaeological sites Even though the mountainous area of Sfakia was very difficult to approach, it had been strongly connected with the history and civilization of the first-Minoan period (3500 2025 BC), especially the cities of Anopolis, Aradena and Askifou. Prehistoric residents seem to have preferred the coastline (Tarra, Phoenix, Pikilassos). Since the end of the Neolithic period there has been evidence of ancient habitation on Madares, near some mitata (small buildings where the shepherds used to rest and produce their delicious cheese). During the Hellenistic and Classical period the people of Sfakia got away from the coast and built strong walls to protect themselves from the enemies. This was probably due to an increase in piracy and the political insecurity due to the war in the area. During the Roman domination, coast-
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p.10 Chania al cities gradually started existing again, till the end of this period when there were much more. Phoenix. An ancient city and the harbour of Anopolis and Aradena, near today’s Loutro. There are remains from all historical periods as well as underground domes. Loutro. An ancient city that owes its name to the existence of bathtubs with water channeling from Anopolis. Their remains are still there. Aradena. It is the ancient city of Aradin or Iradin which was probably found by the Phoenicians. It was an autonomous city with its own currency. Its architectural remains and tombs still stand there among the ruins of the village. Anopolis. The ruins of the ancient town are near today’s village of Anopolis. It was an autonomous city with its own currency and it flourished mainly during the Roman and the Byzantine domination. Tarra. An ancient coastal city built right after the exit of Samaria gorge, where today lies Agia Roumeli. It was a small but powerful city with its own currency. The coins represented the Cretan wild goat on the one side and a bee on the other. It is believed that in the wider area they made glass because in an excavation in 1959, they found tombs of the Archaic period, 5th 4th century BC, full of funeral gifts. A well fortified city that had been constantly inhabited from the Classical period till the Roman domination. Pikilasion or Pikilassos. An ancient town between Suia (Sougia) and Tarra (Agia Roumeli) in Tripiti Gorge of Sfakia, at today’s Boukelasi, built at and altitude of 400m. It was probably the harbour of Eliros. The city existed during the Archaic, the Classical and the Hellenistic periods. It was abandoned during the Roman domination and the settlement was later established in the exit of Tripiti gorge. The remains of two temples have been found along the coast. Kaino. A small mountainous ancient city, built inside Samaria gorge near the banks of the river. The city developed in the ancient years and according to tradition it was the birthplace of Artemis the Britomartis, called Diktini, who was the daughter of Zeus. In 1991, they found an outdoor sanctuary near the church of Agios Nikolaos as well as many bronze and iron, arrows and spears. That was probably the oracle of Apollo or else, the Kirikion Andron. It is said that the nymph Akakali, wife of Hermes and daughter of Minos
was worshipped there. (Hermes used to hold a cane called “Kirikion”). Gorges Samaria Gorge. It is the largest, the most impressive and the most beautiful gorge in whole Europe (the nature reserve extends for 48.500 sq.m.). Hiking begins from Xilaskalo (at an altitude of 1.250m - 43km far from Chania) and lasts for 5-8 hours depending on your pace. You can visit it
from May to October. The landscape is wonderful and there are 450 species of flora as well as unique and unusual geological formations. Imbros Gorge. Small and easy to cross, with imposing rocks up to 300m in some spots where it is only 2m wide. Its entrance is shortly after Imbros village (at and altitude of 780m, 55km far from Chania), and its length is 8km. After two hours walking you reach the exit in Komitades village. Aradena Gorge. Beautiful, interesting and ‘adventurous’. Its entrance is from the ruined Aradena village (at an altitude of 520m, 87.5km far from Chania). After 3.5 hours walking you reach Marmara beach. There you can take a boat to Loutro or keep walking to the east for about 3 hours until you reach Sfakia while passing through Likos, Phinikas, Loutro, Glika Nera and Iligas. Eligia Gorge. Wild, small and impressive. Its entrance is in Agios Ioannis village in Sfakia (780m altitude, 92km from
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Chania). After hiking for 3.5 hours you reach Agios Pavlos beach, which is full of pine trees, and then you need 1 more hour to the west to reach Agia Roumeli. This covers only the 1 third of the total distance inside the gorge. So if you wish to cross the whole gorge, you need an experienced guide and two days time. (route: Omalos tableland - Kallergis refuge - Melidaou Peak (2.133m altitude) - Potami of the White Mountains - Agios Pavlos). Omalos - Potami: 6 hours. Potami - Agios Pavlos: 6hours. Sfakiano or Bartholomas gorge. As far as flora is concerned, it’s a very interesting gorge. Its entrance is from Imbros village and it’s 2 hours walking in a rural road of 10km (you can also use a suitable car) till you reach the ruined Kali Lakki village and then you need 2.5 more hours to reach its exit and the road. You do most of the hiking along the dry bottom of the river which is really easy to walk. Tripiti gorge. Very beautiful and rich in flora and fauna (the Cretan Wild Goat lives here) but one of the most ‘difficult to cross’ gorges in west Crete. You need an experienced guide and 2 days time. You start waking from Omalos tableland, climb mountain Gigilos and 3 hours later you reach Tzazimos’ sheepfold (2.080m altitude). Then it takes you 3 more hours to reach Tripiti beach and if there is not a boat waiting for you, you will need another 3 hours walking to the west until you reach Sougia. Klados gorge. It is the wildest and the most difficult gorge to cross. You need an experienced guide and 2 days time. You start walking from Omalos tableland, climb mountain Gigilos to its top and then you go down to the west until you reach the marvellous beach of Domata, in the Libyan Sea, after about 8 hours. You need 3 more hours to the east to reach Agia Roumeli. Iliggas or Kavis gorge. Full of plants, wonderful and easy to cross. You start walking from Anopolis village in Sfakia (520m altitude, 84km from Chania) and two hours later you reach the Byzantine church of The Holy Cross (this part can also be crossed in a suitable car). From this point you start going down for 3 hours until you reach the beautiful beach of Iliggas, located 2km on the west of Sfakia. Kapnis gorge. Wild and rough with a great inclination of the ground. Its entrance is 4km on the east of the road from Imbros to Asfendou, at an altitude of 900m. It’s an interest-
p.11 Chania ing ‘adventurous’ 3.5-hour hike between the villages of Bouvas and Komitades, 5km far from Sfakia and 8km far from Fragokastelo. Asfendou gorge. Its starts from Asfendou village (770m altitude, 8km from Imbros, 63km from Chania). It is small, beautiful and rough. After 4 hours of walking you reach Agios Nektarios village, on the main road to Fragokastelo, only 7km far from its magnificent golden beach. Kalikratis gorge. It’s in the far east of Sfakia municipality. Hiking begins from the mountain village of Kalikratis (750m altitude, 14km from Imbros). The landscape is really impressive for such a small gorge like that, which ends in Kapsodados village (5km from Fragokastelo) after 3.5 hours of walking. Castles Askifou. On a hill in Askifou Tableland stand the remains of a fortress that was built by the Turkish to fight against the Cretan Revolution (1866 1869). Hora Sfakion. Hora Sfakion is a small settlement built by the sea. It probably took its name by the Venetians who built a small fortress near the sea, on a low hill called Kasteli, in the end of the 15th century. The fortress was built to protect the area mainly from the pirates’ attacks. Fragokastelo. It is one of the latest castles built by the Venetians along with that of Hora Sfakion in order to control the rebellious people of Sfakia and face the pirates who ruled over the Mediterranean Sea. Its construction began in 1371, near the small church of Agios Nikitas and that is why it was originally named “the castle of Agios Nikitas”. The locals, however, have called it Fragokastelo ever since. The building of the castle took a long time because the people of Sfakia, who had six brothers from Patsianos village as leaders, destroyed at night what was built during the day. These six brothers were captured after betrayal and were hanged. The four of them were hanged from the four corner keeps of the castle while the other two were hanged from the central gate. Building materials from a neighbouring ancient city were probably used for the castle’s construction but this hasn’t been verified yet. Agia Roumeli. Situated in Agia Roumeli, near the exit of Samaria Gorge. Churches and Monasteries • There are 4 churches with frescoes inside Samaria Gorge.
(1) St. Nikolaos, 5km after Xiloskalo. They have recently found a small rural sanctuary in the same spot. (2) Byzantine of St. Maria the Egyptian, after Samaria village. The templon (1740) represents the Saint while receiving Holy Communion by St. Zosimas. (3) Virgin Mary of Agia Roumeli, in Agia Roumeli village. It was built during the Venetian domination on the ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo, who was the protector of the city. They used stones from the ancient temple (about 1500 BC). (4) St. Georgios, where a plate with the crown of Kallergis family is inside the wall. • St. Pavlos (on the east of Agia Roumeli). A church of Byzantine style of architecture, located on the beach near a spring with fresh water. It was built by St. Kir Giannis the Hermit in the honour of Apostle Pavlos, who according to tradition, baptized many pagans when he came back from the island of Gavdos and lived in Crete. • St. Antonios (Pikilassos). It was totally destroyed by Mustafa Pasha. • St. Ioannis (Agios Ioannis) • Virgin Mary (Agios Ioannis). With wonderful frescoes. • Archangel Michael (Aradena). A small, old church of Byzantine architecture, built with stones from the ancient ruins of the city, with very important frescoes and a high dome (14th 15th century AC). It was built on the ruins of a threeaisle basilica church of the 5th 6th century. • St. Georgios, (Komitades). An old Byzantine church with very important frescoes and an inscription dating back in 1314, which was build after the victory of the residents over the pirates. Its frescoes were made by Ioannis Pagomenos and there are quite enough tombs around it. • Virgin Mary the Thimiani (Komitades). A historical church where the autonomous people of Sfakia had held their conventions before 1821 (today, it is a graveyard). • St. Georgios (Kallikratis). Very old, with a number of local traditions, such as that of the well with the ‘immortal’ water. • St. Nikitas (Fragokastelo). It was built in 1371 AC and it has wonderful unique frescoes. • St. Haralambos (Fragokastelo). Ruined, near the fortress to the sea. • Agios Georgios (Anopoli). • Agios Manolis (Askyfou). • Ag. Apostoli (Hora Sfakion).
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Sfakians and the fall of Constantinople In January 1453, Sultan Mehmet II had the capital city of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, surrounded. He decided that he was going to take it over either by breaking through the city’s defenses or by starving the inhabitants into submission. The sultan had his troops and an enormous fleet at his disposal while the besieged Byzantines (and their Christian allies) were demoralized and divided amongst themselves. Responding to a request for help from the Byzantine Emperor, the Sfakian leader Manousos Kallikratis gathered 300 Sfakian warriors and another 760 Cretan fighters from other parts of the island. The leader then sailed in five ships (three of which were Sfakian) and went to help the besieged Emperor. The Sfakian/Cretan forces fought valiantly by breaking through the Ottoman blockade and by defending the city itself. Many Cretans died alongside the Byzantines, as well as alongside the few Genoese and Venetian co-defenders. When the city fell, the only 170 surviving Cretans had been surrounded by Ottoman troops in one of the city’s towers and were refusing to surrender. The sultan was so impressed by their courage and fierce fighting skills that he agreed to let them walk out of the city with their flags, arms, and wounded and sail away to Crete in one of their ships. A poet of the time has the Byzantine Emperor saying as he was surrounded by the Ottomans, “Christians, Greeks, cut off my head, take it, good Cretans, and carry it to Crete, for the Cretans to see it and be sad at heart.” Just a few words from an anonymous poet described the deep impact the fall of Constantinople had on the Cretans. They were to become the next home of the refugees from Byzantium and responsible for nurturing the rich heritage left to them by the collapsing Byzantine Empire. Against the Ottomans During the Ottoman occupation of Crete (1669–1898), and especially from the 18th century onwards, the Greeks looked towards Christian Russia as its savior. Peter the Great, as part of his plan to expand southward to the Black Sea, promoted himself as a champion of the Christians residing in the Balkans. His overall policy, with some variations, was continued by Catherine the Great (1762–1796) in her wars against the Ottoman Turks. She dreamed of resurrecting the Byzantine Empire and placing her grandson as its emperor.
p.12 Chania Before the first Russo-Turkish War, she sent Russian agents to Morea and the islands in order to stir up the Greeks to fight against the Turks. One of the Russian agents reached a man named Daskaloyiannis and told the Sfakian from Anopoli to lead a revolt. This was ill advice since the Sfakians, let alone the Cretans in general, were hardly ready for such a revolt, as they had virtually no weapons. Yet, when in 1770, a Russian fleet under Count Aleksey Grigoryevich Orlov appeared in the Aegean, precipitating the Orlov Revolt, Daskaloyiannis and his Cretan followers revolted. However, when the Russo-Turkish conflict ran to an end, the Cretans were left alone against Turkish troops from Chania, Rethymno, and Heraklion. The pasha of Crete had captured the brother and daughters of Daskaloyiannis and with the promise of leniency he demanded that Daskaloyiannis surrender. Daskaloyiannis decided to surrender so that he could see his brother and daughters released. Most of the other leaders of the revolt were killed, and the pasha had Daskaloyiannis first tortured in order to provide any valuable strategic information. Naturally, Daskaloyiannis refused to surrender his people to the Turks. Even after the pasha had the Sfakian skinned alive strip by strip in front of hundreds summoned at a public square, Daskaloyiannis did not betray his people. Neither the failed revolt of 1770 AD nor the death of Daskaloyiannis went in vain since both events aroused the national sentiments of all Cretans. The revolts made by the Cretans and the legendary Sfakians contributed to the rise of the independent Cretan state in 1898, which also paved the way for Crete’s union with Greece in 1912. Who was Ioannis Daskaloyiannis Ioannis Vlachos was born in Anopolis village in Sfakia, a semi-autonomous region of Crete, in 1722 or 1730. His father, who was a wealthy shipowner, sent him to be educated abroad. Due to his education, his compatriots called him “Daskalos” (teacher), hence his nickname Daskalogiannis.
He is referred to as a town clerk, in 1750, and chairman of the region of Sfakia in 1765, and as the owner of four, threemast, merchant ships that sailed between the ports of the Mediterranean. These would have sailed from Prosyalo and the gulf of Loutro. Daskalogiannis knew Emmanouil Benakis at Mani and it is likely that Benakis introduced him to Count Orlov who Catherine the Great had sent to the Peloponnese in 1769 to instigate a revolt there. Many men from Sfakia also participated in the revolt which Orlov instigated in the Peloponnese.
In early 1770, he was contacted by Russian emissaries, who hoped to instigate a revolt amongst the Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Daskalogiannis agreed to fund and organise a rebellion in Sfakia against the Turkish authorities when the Russian emissaries promised to support this. In the spring of 1770 Daskalogiannis made preparations for the revolt at Sfakia, he brought together men, rifles, and supplies and had defences built at strategic locations. However, the Russian fleet in the Aegean, under Count Orlov did
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not sail for Crete, and the Cretan revolt was left to its own devices. The uprising began on 25 March 1770, with the flag raised at the church of Agios Georgios of Anopolis, and for a short time, parts of Crete had the attributes of an independent nation, including its own coins, minted in a cave near Hora Sfakion. The coming winter was difficult because the Russian intervention, promised to Daskalogiannis, did not materialise. The uprising did not spread to the lowlands, and without outside support, it was put down brutally by the superior Turkish forces of the island, who easily defeated the ca. 1,300 rebels. Sfakia was for the first time fully dominated by Turkish forces. Daskalogiannis surrendered with 70 men at the castle of Frangokastello near Hora Sfakion. On the orders of the Pasha of Candia/Chandax (Heraklion), he was tortured outside Heraklion’s harbour fortress, skinned alive and executed οn 17 June 1771. He is said to have suffered all this in dignified silence. The Turks forced Daskalogiannis’ brother to watch the torturous execution and it drove him insane. Drosoulites The term Drosoulites refers to a long procession of visions, seen by residents around Frangokastello castle in Sfakia region of Crete (Greece). The phenomenon is rumored to be visible every year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Frangokastello or even in early June near a small village in southern Crete. The visions, as described by witnesses, consist of a group of human-like shadows dressed in black, walking or riding, armed with weapons, moving from the monastery of Agios Charalambos and advancing towards the old fort, Frangokastello, a 14th-century Venetian fortification. Legend has it that this group of people are Greek fighters that died during the Battle of Frangokastello (17 May 1828) and since then they appear as supernatural beings in the area. The ghost army is led by Hatzimichalis Dalianis, from
p.13 Chania Delvinaki in Epirus, the chief of the Greek men, 350 of whom were lost, in the battle. The army took refuge in the fort during the Greek War of Independence against the Turks, where they were killed after a seven-day siege. The local people named them Drosoulites (“dew shadows”) due to the time of day that the phenomenon is taking place. The phenomenon is observed when the sea is calm and the atmosphere is moist and before the sun goes too high up in the sky. It usually lasts about 10 minutes. The shadows are visible from the valley at a distance of
1000 m. Many have tried to explain this in a scientific way, and at one time it was explained as a mirage from the coast of North Africa, but still there is no accepted consensus. The appearance of the Drosoulites is documented over the ages. In 1890 a transient Turkish army, took the images for rebels and fled away. Even during the Second World War, a German patrol is said to have opened fire on the visions. References: http://www.sfakia.gr http://en.wikipedia.org
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Welcome to the Municipality of Sfakia Sfakia is a place of incredible wildness and beauty, a land where alpine bare peaks of 2,500 meters coexist with slopes and deep canyons that end in beautiful sub-tropic beaches. Sfakia is a place with proud and hospitable people, who many times in the past pioneered the nation fights for freedom. The Municipality of Sfakia invites you to discover all its hidden beauties... from the beach of Agia Marina to Tripiti and from Kallikratis to Agios Ioannis. This year, you have many other reasons to visit Sfakia. Cultural Summer 2013 consists of a rich program of cultural and sporting events in an attempt by the municipality to highlight the local folk culture and history. Our objective is to make Sfakia an ideal destination for many activities and types of tourism. The district of Sfakia is the largest one in the prefecture of Chania, but consisting in large part of mountains it is sparsely populated. Sfakia is famous throughout Greece as one of the most traditional regions of Crete and for its magnificent nature, contrasting the high mountains, the plateaux of Askifou and Anopolis as well as the wild scenic coast of the Libyan sea. We welcome you all to our Sfakia and we wish you a pleasant stay, hoping that you will return to our land the next time you will visit Crete... Pavlos Polakis Mayor of the Municipality of Sfakia Municipality of Sfakia: Tel.: +30 28250 / 91540-2 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +30 28250 91543
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Votzakis Bakery: Handmade recipes Something traditional and tasteful from Sfakia
Welcome Ranked #3 of 116 most important things to do in Hania by Lonely Planet travellers, you will adore this Cafe-bar located at the prominent hill of Profitis Ilias with its magnificent view of Hania. It is cool even during the hottest summer days, which makes it an all-day hangout for locals of all ages. It serves coffee, drinks, salads, omelettes, pastries and ice-cream from 10 am till late at night. Once you try one of the desserts you will keep coming back for more! 1,Alexi Minoti str, Venizelos Graves, Chania, Phone:+30 28210 27449 www.koukouvaya.com
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DAILY MAIL: The secret plane stuffed full of cash that saved the euro
When Greece burned and its banks melted, the EU talked tough and threatened to cut it loose... but covertly flooded it with €10billion The European bank Troika boosted Greek banks through secret flights. Billions of euros were flown to Greece and Cyprus to save the currency By Faisal Islam
To the casual observer there was nothing odd or even surprising in the sight of cargo planes lumbering east over the Adriatic or occasionally skimming southwards over the Alps towards the Balkans and beyond to Greece. Some of these aircraft, giant Boeings, bore the distinctive livery of Maersk, the international carriers. Others, smaller, more discreet, were painted in the pale blue and white of the Greek military. Had anyone bothered to pay attention, or even note down the serial numbers – such as the plane marked OYSRH seen landing in Cyprus earlier this year – surely they would not have guessed at the purpose of these journeys or their extraordinary cargo. Because the flights to Athens and Larnaca that began in 2011 were nothing short of a secret airlift. The mission was neither to save lives nor even to preserve a fragile democratic freedom like the famous airlifts in post-war Berlin, but to protect and prolong the economic experiment of a multi-national currency. Billions in freshly minted euro notes made a clandestine journey to struggling Greece – a drama worthy of a John Le Carré novel but authored in Frankfurt am Main, known as Mainhattan, world headquarters of the euro. It was well known that Greece was running out of cash, in metaphorical terms at least. In June 2011, after months of stalling on its economic reform programme, the foreign Troika that effectively controlled the country had run out of patience. Consisting of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Troika made it clear that it would withhold the final instalment of a €110 billion bailout, agreed in May 2010. This last €12 billion payment of foreign funds was needed desperately – to pay pensions, public servants and interest on Greece’s huge debts. It was funding that Greece could raise neither in taxes from its own people, nor from the financial markets. But what most people did not know was that Greece was running out of cash quite literally, too. There were shortages of all denominations apart from the €10 note. Greeks had responded to the Troika’s threat to pull the €12 billion payment by withdrawing euros from their bank accounts at a record rate. Soon there would be not enough euro notes in the country to cope with the number of Greeks trying to get their hands on their money from cash machines and banks. And so a secret plan was activated. ‘We’re talking about June 2011,’ a senior official overseeing Greece’s bailout told me. ‘Greeks were taking about one to two billion euros a day from the banking system. The Greeks had to send military planes to Italy to get banknotes. It got to that point.’ A decade after it gave up the drachma, the world’s oldest existing currency, Greece faced the crushing reality that it did not have the sovereign authority to meet the demand for paper currency from its own citizens. It could mint euro coins and there were also plates for the €10 note. But coins and small denomination paper were not going to satisfy the demand. Only the German Bundesbank, the National Bank of Austria and the Luxembourgers have ever had the plates for the highly prized €500 note, the highest-value paper currency in the world. (This form of manufacturing would appear to have been confined to German-speaking countries.) Intentionally or not, the ability of Greece to meet a huge surge in demand for banknotes had been effectively proscribed. By June 2012, Greek demand for paper currency had nearly trebled and amid last summer’s electoral tumult, the secret missions started in 2011 were once again required. The response was extraordinary. While issuing public threats to Greeks, in private the Troika authorised military and commercial cargo planes to feed them euros – billions-worth on every flight. They were intended not only to preserve Greece’s fracturing social stability, but also to preserve the single currency itself. Greece’s European partners were worried, and no won-
der. The Governor of the Bank of Greece, George Provopoulos, subsequently explained that if the demand for notes had not been met, an impression would have been created that the banks were unable to repay depositors. ‘It would have caused a collapse of confidence with dire consequences for financial stability and the general outlook of the country,’ he said. A Northern Rock-style bank run in Greece could have spread quickly across the Mediterranean – investor concern had already spread to Italy. A Troika figure told me: ‘There would have been complete and immediate panic. They had no time. A billion, two billion per day in banknotes is a lot of money. This then becomes an industrial problem.’ The airlift was only the first stage of the mission. Scores, if not hundreds, of journeys by truck and boat spread the new notes across the mainland and the Greek islands, from Rhodes to Corfu, from Crete to Komotini. Staff worked through the night to ensure that bank branches across Greece had sufficient notes to meet depositor demand, and contain any incipient bank run. Incredibly, this operation proceeded without anyone noticing. The Bank of Greece tracked demand for paper money through bank branch orders. It did not have to deploy teams of ‘bank-run spotters’ as the Bank of England did in the crisis of 2008. As far as ordinary Greeks were concerned, the cash machines continued to function. However, underneath their very noses a monetary revolution was taking place. The value of notes in circulation in Greece doubled from €19 billion in 2009 to €40 billion in September 2011. By the summer of 2012 the total had reached €48 billion, of which at least €10 billion – possibly much more – had been delivered through secret airlifts. Typically, developed economies have cash in circulation worth between four and seven per cent of gross domestic product. In 2009 in Greece, the figure was 8.2 per cent. By 2012 it had trebled to 24.8 per cent. On these numbers, in mid-2012, Greece had a greater value of euro notes in circulation than the Netherlands, even though the Dutch economy is four times that of Greece. Tens of billions of euros were yanked from Greek banks in the bank runs of 2011 and 2012, yet the authorities estimate only a third of it was spent. Another third was taken abroad for investments in, for example, London property, and a third was hidden under mattresses and floorboards in Greek homes. It was not long before Greece’s near neighbour and cultural sibling, Cyprus, found that it too was in crisis. This time, Berlin was determined that a large chunk of the bailout would come from savings deposited in Cypriot banks. Bedlam, bank holidays and bank runs were the predictable result. As dusk fell over Nicosia on March 27 this year, the shouts of protesters were drowned out by the angry buzzing of helicopters and deafening wail of police sirens. The uproar seemed to be converging on the Central Bank. Had the previous day’s sit-down protest by bank workers turned into a riot? The truth was much stranger. At the Central Bank, tense meetings between international financiers, American management consultants, British Treasury advisers and Cypriot bankers suddenly broke off. Four very large green juggernauts laden with euros had arrived from the European Central Bank, just hours before Cyprus’s banks were due to reopen. An historic just-in-time delivery. That afternoon a Maersk Star Air cargo plane had parked up at the end of the runway at Larnaca airport. Flight logs record that the plane, registration OY-SRH, had flown from Cologne to Munich in the early hours, and then, via Athens, to Larnaca. It was carrying €5 billion euros in notes – not a bailout, but an epic logistical effort to sate the Cypriot desire for paper money. The cash had been transferred from the Bundesbank logistical reserve at the request of the ECB. But only after the Cypriot government had done its ‘homework’, complying with Troika demands for economic and financial reform.
souvlaki for only 1,25 euros
After the notes had been loaded on to the trucks, their journey to Nicosia was accompanied by squads of police cars, while helicopters buzzed overhead. The cash had come courtesy of Cyprus’s real central bank, the one based in Frankfurt, 1,500 miles away – the European Central Bank. Effectively, the ECB’s threat made a week before to pull emergency liquidity funding to the island’s banks was a threat to withhold the cash that arrived on this plane. The consequences would have been dire. It is perhaps understandable that this and the other cash flights remained clandestine but, in their secrecy and urgency, they offer a window to a still more extraordinary landscape of lies and half-truths told across the continent to keep the single currency alive. Greece’s membership of the eurozone was, from inception, built on misleading data about the state of its economy. The Cypriot entry in 2008 was waved through, yet only now have the Cypriots been told that their main industry, an offshore banking sector, needs to be dismantled amid fears that it has aided tax evasion and money laundering. But even these extraordinary lapses pale into insignificance against the two mega lies – untruths in the very structure of the euro – which persist even now, despite the seemingly calmer weather in the currency bloc. A blueprint for revival is being drawn up in the German headquarters of the European Central Bank. The ECB is in absolutely no doubt that the euro will survive. But the people of the crisis countries – Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Ireland – are yet to be enlightened by their politicians about the price to be paid: in short, the survival of the euro means much lower wages for them. To use the jargon, the Mediterranean countries must be ‘internally devalued’, which means pushing down average wages that had risen sharply, to regain competitiveness and promote growth. The existence of a common currency means, of course, that old-fashioned currency devaluation – the standard method of achieving these things in the past – is impossible. I know for a fact that two ministers in charge of struggling Mediterranean economies (sadly, they must remain anonymous) are happy to boast about the scale of the cuts in workers’ wages when addressing international bond traders. Would they ever dream of saying this in public? Decisively not. ‘The public would not take it,’ one crisis economy minister tells me. Meanwhile, even in the final weeks of a German election campaign (which Angela Merkel seems likely to win) the voters remain ignorant that they too must pay a price: that they are about to foot a bill of billions of euros as Greece heads inexorably for a third bailout. It will happen safely after the votes are counted, of course. Germany benefited the most from the introduction of the euro through trade within Europe, a cheaper currency for exports outside Europe, and ultra-low interest rates on its debts. But it now seems inevitable that northern European taxpayers, and German ones in particular, will bear a heavy share of the cost of rescuing the currency. After all, the northern European taxpayer has effectively replaced bankers in funding Greece’s remaining debts. The first test will come from Greece, which will soon require a remarkable third bailout and yet another default on its debt, having already had the world’s biggest sovereign default in 2012. This will be just the start of a process where public debts across the eurozone are shared. A de facto fiscal union and, soon enough, a form of ‘banking union’ will follow. Underlying all of this will be political union – a super state. The Maersk Star Air OY-SRH that landed in Larnaca five months ago was the equivalent of a printing press in a nation that had ceded its monetary sovereignty. Such planes are a visible symbol of the loss of national power necessary to prevent the currency itself from crashing. After the German elections next month, this truth will be revealed. A resumption of the airborne rescue missions is possible; turbulence is guaranteed. Fasten your seatbelts.
Delivery: +30 28210 44955
INDEPENDENT: The 10 Best olive oils
Whether it’s for drizzling over your pasta or knocking up a quick vinaigrette, we’ve got the oil for the job and one of them is coming from Crete 1. Nunez De Prado Extra Virgin Olive Oil This award-winning Sicilian oil is made from three types of olives, cold-pressed almost straight after being picked, then left unfiltered to give an intense and fruity flavour. There’s something satisfyingly rustic about the tin, too. £10.99 for 1 litre, marksandspencer.com 2. The One Premium Extra Virgin Olive oil This olive oil from Crete is pricy, but it’s the champagne of olive oils and astonishingly good with fresh bread, or as a dressing for salad, or in cooking. It has been produced using traditional, cold-press techniques to create a perfectly balanced oil, high in Mediterranean flavour. £39 for 500ml, ospreylondon.com
Only the best fruit of selected olive trees which grow on Cretan mother earth, picked according to specific standards, at their best stage of ripening offer this unique extra virgin olive oil. Cultivation, harvesting and solely cold extraction method conform to internationally certified procedures, thus guaranteeing the value of the final product. Cretans expertise and affection create this unmatchable olive oil of extremely low acidity. It offers a unique experience of
fine taste, scented with Mediterranean flavours in ideal proportions. One, Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil pairs your most gourmet choices. Terra Aegea was established in 2011, building a business model based on delivering outstanding goods to the executive market. The strategically philosophy behind the product mix derives from the inspiring raw materials of the Greek land, in combination with the knowledge that has been inherited through generations. Investing in research and development Terra Aegea launched in 2012 the “One Extra Virgin Olive Oil” series. “One Extra Virgin Olive Oil” series includes six varieties of superior quality Cretan Extra Virgin Olive Oil By building a global partners network, our vision is to share our passion with the world. To deliver products seriously involved with the human senses. Terra Aegea is a company dedicated to superior quality, inspired to build executive products for an executive market. The “One Extra Virgin Olive Oil” series range is fully certified according to the regulations of the European Union policy regarding Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The product, from production process of extra virgin olive oil to bottling is matching levels of excellence, under the inspection of Greek Ministry of Agriculture in combination with the highest standards of Health and Food conditions (HACCP, ISO, Agrocert) and certifications of quality systems ( ISO 9001). 3. Hotel Chocolat Cocoa and Chilli Oil A chocolatier isn’t the obvious place to buy olive oil, but Hotel Chocolat knows a thing or two about the cocoa bean. Here, they’ve taken whole roasted cocoa beans and tangy chillies and soaked them in rich olive oil and the result is perfect as a dip for warm, crusty bread. £12.50 for 250ml, hotelchocolat.co.uk 4. Marqués de Valdueza Extra Virgin Olive Oil This clear, bright, green-gold extra virgin olive oil feels light, but has incredible flavours including mint, basil and tomato
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vine. The bitterness is balanced by the buttery taste and the aftertaste is long and persistent. £14.99, waitrose.com
…where nature embraces the senses
5. Taste the Difference Greek Kalamatan Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boasting robust fruity flavours of apple, citrus and herbs, this rich oil comes from the Taygetos mountain in Greece’s southern Peloponnese. £5.50 for 500ml, sainsburys.co.uk 6. Carluccio’s umbrian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Carluccio’s, as you might expect, has an impressive range of olive oils. This one benefits from a complex combination of fruit and almonds and pepper and is produced from three different kinds of olives. £11.25 for 500ml, carluccios.com
The only one of its kind in Europe
7. A L’Olivier Black Fruity Virgin Olive Oil This provides you with an intensely nutty oil with a light toasty aroma and a touch of citrus fruits. Blended in A L’Olivier’s atelier in Nice, France, it’s unique and utterly fabulous. £13.50 for 250ml, harrods.com 8. Tesco Finest Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil This award-winning oil comes from hand-picked olives from farms in the Iblei mountains of south-east Sicily. The flavour is intense and perfectly balanced. £7 for 500ml, tesco.com 9. Castillo Early Royal 2012 Harvest Olive Oil The Royal olive is an ancient native variety from Jaen, Andalucia, which is almost extinct. Damn shame as the flavour in this wonderful green oil is extraordinary, incorporating greengages, grass, green beans and pea shoots. Snap it up while you can. £25 for 500ml, fortnumandmason.com 10. Nudo Stone Ground with Lemons This husband-and-wife team produce lip-smackingly good olive oils from their groves in Le Marche, Italy. Their flavoured ones, particularly the lemon one, are particularly scrumptious, not least because they are made by crushing the fruit together with the olives at the time of harvest. £6.99 for 250ml, nudo-italia.com
το μοναδικό στο είδος του στην Ευρώπη
The area was reborn from its own ashes after the great fire of 2003.
undreds of different types of fruit trees, herbs and flowers in a uniquely landscaped area, offering you the opportunity to experience and get to know the blessed island of Crete in the most ideal way.
e are waiting for you in an area of approximately 200,000 m² to discover trees from all over the world, bearing edible fruit, as well as herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants.
n entertaining, educational park, ideal for walks.
Crete… a small continent
he area of the Botanical Park of Crete, 18 km from the city of Chania, at the foot of the White Mountains with its terrain and microclimate becomes a unique paradise for thousands of cold- and warm-climate plants!
he restaurant of the Botanical Park of Crete combines the revival of traditional recipes with cooking methods such as the hearth, woodburning oven, baking plate, etc, and flavours and products from the rich ground of the park such as vegetables, fruits, greens, garden produce, pulses, cheeses and bread... all flavoured with herbs from the park.
18th km of the National Road Chania-Omalos, Chania, Crete, Greece tel. +30 6976 860573
GUARDIAN: “Greece’s food crisis”
Families face going hungry during summer shutdown Frontline charities report that up to 90% of families in the poorest neighbourhoods rely on food banks and soup kitchens. But, with no end to austerity in sight, even the volunteers are flagging. Hunger is not a word that comes easily to Antonis Antakis. And at 28 Veikou Street, in the cramped confines of the Solidarity Club, it is not a word that is ever mentioned. But the fear of not having enough to eat is the force that propels those who stop here – and what keeps the tireless volunteers stacking rice, pasta and other dry goods that Greeks like Antakis take home. “The truth is, if I didn’t come here I wouldn’t have the means to feed my children,” said the recently widowed father-ofthree, his eyes fixed on the floor. “Three years ago, when I was the boss and had two employees, the idea of going anywhere to collect food would have been inconceivable. Back then, I was earning €3,000 (£2,600) a month and the fridge was always full.” The task of ensuring that families like Antakis’s are fed throughout the summer became more stark at the weekend as Greeks prepared to take their traditional summer break, affecting the provision of basic services like food distribution to the poor. Ordinarily, the prospect of the Orthodox church – or any other charitable organisation – scaling back duties in August would have gone unnoticed. But in debt-stricken Greece it is impossible to ignore. Against a backdrop of record unemployment, and with the country ensnared in its worst crisis in modern times, hardship is surfacing in ways that few would ever have foreseen. Hunger and undernourishment are part of that spectre. For Antakis and the growing number dependent on soup kitchens, who will now be bereft of outside support, August has become the cruellest month. “I really worry that one day I won’t be able to feed my kids at all,” lamented the 39-year-old former floor layer turned taxi driver. “From being the boss, I am now lucky if I earn €500 a month. You can’t live on that and pay the bills and all your
debts and every tax they throw at you, and still survive.” With its dedicated staff and can-do spirit, the Solidarity Club is similar to many other groups established by concerned citizens appalled by austerity’s corrosive effects. It is run from, although not backed by, the local branch of the radical leftist opposition party, Syriza. In a telltale sign of Greece’s unravelling social fabric, the Veikou Street headquarters sit not on the decrepit outer edge of a capital entrapped in a sixth year of recession but in its centre, streets away from Athens’ most expensive boulevard and within view of the ancient Acropolis. “I had no idea and was shocked to learn that people in this neighbourhood, on these streets, in all the buildings that I pass every day, were suffering so,” said Panaghiota Mourtidou, 54, the organisation’s co-founder, busily packing food boxes. “After all, we’re talking about the middle class, people who for a long time were too ashamed to admit they had such problems.” Malnourished children eventually gave the secret away amid reports nationwide of pupils fainting in schools. “Teachers were reporting cases of kids who had turned up at school with nothing more than rice or stale rusks for months,” Mourtidou recalled. “That’s when we decided to work with parents’ associations and trace families. Through food collections at the supermarket up the road we now feed around 130 people twice a month.” As the country lurches from one aid handout to the next, a climate of quiet desperation is growing in Greece. The politics of poverty – brought about by the relentless cuts, tax rises and job losses demanded in return for EU and IMF rescue funds – has left wreckage in its wake. The Greek Orthodox church alone feeds an estimated 55,000 people a day; municipal authorities distribute another 7,000 meals at soup kitchens around Athens. “Normally we wouldn’t close but the women volunteers who cook in church kitchens all over Athens need to have a rest,” said Father Timotheos, spokesman of the Holy Synod, the church’s ruling body.
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“At all levels, people are finding it very difficult. Demand for food has gone up extraordinarily,” he told the Guardian, conceding that if the needy couldn’t travel to the church’s central soup kitchen they were likely to face immense difficulty. Across town in Neos Kosmos, a working-class district where locals are often spotted scavenging for food at the weekly fruit and veg market, Christos Provezis put it more bluntly. “It used to be that one in 10 went to soup kitchens,” said the unemployed civil engineer, who started his own solidarity group in the area last year. “Today it’s more like nine out of 10. “They said the crisis would pass in 2012 and now, in 2013, they say we’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel in 2014. The truth is, its only getting worse. Greeks have spent their savings, there’s no more fat.” In a withering report this year, Unicef estimated that nearly 600,000 children lived under the poverty line in Greece, and more than half that number lacked basic daily nutritional needs. “In poorer families we are seeing an inability to cope with children’s health, social and educational needs,” said Lambros Kanellopoulos, who heads Unicef’s Greek branch. “Social exclusion is growing. I am seeing it in the middle class where incomes have been hard hit by all the cuts.” In Greece’s increasingly tense political environment the politics of food is delicate. In recent months the unapologetically far-right Golden Dawn party has turned to staging “Greek only” food handouts as a means of winning support. The politicking has helped cloud what many fear could be the makings of a humanitarian crisis in the coming months. Like malnutrition – the most pernicious byproduct of austerity to date – homelessness is also on the rise. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Xenia Papastavrou, who runs the country’s pre-eminent food rescue organisation, Boroume. “Social services in municipalities can’t keep up recording the sheer numbers of those in need,” said Papastavrou, whose programme distributes surplus food donated by chain stores, restaurants, bakeries and hotels to 700 soup kitchens across Greece. “In traditional middle class neighbourhoods like Zographou the number of those requiring support has gone up from 50 to 500 since 2011. Everywhere we go it’s the same story, which is why we need all the help we can get.”
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The “champion” of wines...
Liastos from Romeiko by Karavitakis Winery
Gold medal winner in the International Wine Competition in Berlin The gold medal for the wine Liasto of Romeiko has been won from the Karavitakis vineyards in the International wine competition in Berlin. The competition is one of the most famous in the world, involving over 3.500 wine samples. The wines were judged by 120 professional tasters, in blind test, without knowing the labels to be treated, with strict meritocracy. The competition started in 1994 and it’s overseen by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. Each year the awards in this competition are the best “passport” for wines to be identified internationally. The Liasto of Romeikos from Karavitakis Winery has been made from the traditional variety of Chania, Romeiko.
The grapes are harvested very ripe and then they are basking. Then, the vinification begins and the wine is aging for 36 months in oak barrels. Then, the wine is placed in special bottle where it remains for other 36 months before it comes out on the market. Its production is limited and is never more than 1,000 bottles per year. It is a sweet wine with aromas of dried fruits, honey and herbs. The medal is very important for Karavitakis Winery because the awarded variety is very special and unique in Chania and thereby proving that Romeiko has great potential in global market.
Chania is “in the heart” of Scandinavians by Stathis Koussounis, Kathimerini newspaper Watching the statistics of foreign tourists visiting Chania, you could easily say that the popular destinations of Crete is the holiday home of the descendants of the Vikings. While in other parts of the country the first three places at nationalities of tourists occupied by Russians, Germans and Englishmen, Chania Top Related Lists are Scandinavians. In particular, the first market is Norway with 92,002 air arrivals from January - July and market share of 19.2% of total foreign arrivals to the airport of Chania, the second market is Denmark with 63,561 arrivals and 13.2% share and third market is Sweden with 63,033 and a share of 13.1%. England is in the fourth position with a market share of 10.5%, Germany in sixth place with a share of 6.5% and Russia-with a very small share of around 4% - just in ninth place. Please note that this season the total number of tourists from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, who will visit our country will increase significantly surpassing the 1 million This year Chania included in general to destinations in the country with the highest increases in foreign tourist arrivals. In particular, in January-July, the number of air arrivals from abroad increased by 20.2% to 487,324 compared to 405,261 in the same period of 2012. In July, the increase reached 17.6% reaching 176,261 compared to 149,878 in the same month last year. According to the president of the Hotel Association of Chania, Emmanuel Giannoulis, Chania is traditionally the favorite destination of Scandinavian tourists.
Many hotels were built to the specifications that Scandinavians like the most, such as family rooms, etc., while restaurants have adapted their menus to their culinary preferences. Couples and families from the Nordic markets are usually visiting Chania and seek more high-class. The stay 8-9 days. The package for one week holiday in our country, which includes airfare, accommodation and food, and is sold in the Nordic markets, usually reaches up to 900 euros per person.
This year, in the peak of tourist season, planes from 9 airline companies were flying from Norway to Chania. The same number of companies were flying from Sweden and Denmark to Chania. Basic tour operators who operate in the Nordic markets are Apollo Kuoni, TUI Nordic and Ving. In early 2014 there will be an exhibition dedicated to Greece organized in the Nordic markets, that will promote the tourism product, culture and gastronomy.
Tourists return to Greece’s summer resorts in boost for economy
(Reuters) - Foreign tourists are returning to Greece’s sun-drenched islands and ancient temples, central bank data showed on Friday, boosting hopes that the key sector may help the crisis-hit country pull itself out of a severe economic recession. Tourism figures have clearly benefited from comparison to last year, when speculation about Greece being forced out of the euro and fears of social unrest had scared away many
visitors before the peak summer holiday season. But Greece’s tourist industry is taking heart from data showing a 38.5 percent annual rise in receipts in May and a 15.5 percent increase in the first five months this year and predicts a bumper season. “It’s a very positive sign,” Yannis Retsos, the head of Greece’s Hoteliers told Reuters. “I believe this upward trend will continue in the coming months. With the help of tourism, Greece could take a first step towards growth.” Greece’s current account balance also swung to a small surplus in May, helped by a narrower trade gap and higher tourism receipts. Tourism accounts for about 17 percent of output and one in five jobs in a country where unemployment has risen to about 27 percent. Tourism officials see a 10 percent revenue rise in 2013, to 11 billion euros, on the back of an expected record 17 million visitors, one million more than in 2012. A popular destination mainly for Germans and Britons for decades, Greece is now attracting increasing numbers of tourists from Eastern Europe, with these markets account-
ing for about a fifth of total arrivals, a trend which is expected to continue. DEPRESSED GREEKS In the first six months of the year, foreign tourist arrivals increased 10 percent annually with summer resorts such as the Aegean island of Mykonos seeing a 60 percent increase in airport arrivals. Although Greece expects more foreign visitors this year, domestic tourism - which accounts for up to 25 percent of total tourism revenues - has been severely hit and is seen remaining at last year’s depressed levels, tourism bodies have said. Greek incomes are being severely squeezed, cut by about 30 percent on average since the crisis started 2009, with signs that some Greek families can no longer afford long summer vacation or frequent weekend escapes away from Athens to nearby islands. A survey conducted earlier this month by the consumers’ institute INKA showed that more than two thirds of Greeks have not planned a summer holiday this year. About 70 percent of the 545 respondents said that this was mainly due to financial reasons and 20 percent said job and income uncertainty had deterred them from making the decision. The majority of Greek vacationers said their getaway would last up to five days and more than half of those polled said that they would stay with family or friends rather than spend money on hotels.
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Water Park LIMNOUPOLIS
All day fun, all day sun, all day wet... just try it!
Limnoupolis is the largest waterpark in the Mediterranean and the only one in West Crete. Based on safe entertainment of visitors it operates as a point of reference for our area and it is ranked 2nd in the list of the most important tourist attraction following the Samaria gorge! It’s an investment which supplements the local touristic product and contributes to the improvement of the touristic image of Chania. The large number of shareholders, 500, indicates the social character of the park, which besides is in continual and official collaboration with the municipality of Chania, in order to be exploited for social or cultural activities. The park has already disposed the revenues of a whole day during this season, so that local social structures are boosted and doesn’t stop there. Furthermore, additional activities have been scheduled. Starting from this season a new institution takes place, by the organization of concerts and cultural activities in the park area! More specifically, a music festival in the “lake hill” has been scheduled in the highest part of the park, with the best view, within the green, with some of the most acknowledgeable artists. The first Festival “in the Lake Hill” is getting started and will be hosted in the most beautiful place between olive trees and cypresses and the hill standing vaingloriously above the city, as a backdrop. Out of town but not faraway, in the countryside without the disturbing traffic noises, with easy access from the city centre – only 10 minutes distance- with large free parking place. This is the place we chose to project our summer suggestions and share them with all those who love good music, theatre and any beautiful and creative idea. Here we dare against the sad and difficulties times… We aspire to create a venue which will be the alternative suggestion for summer activities (concerts, theatre, etc.) The festival “in the Lake Hill”, in Varipetros, in Limnoupolis Hill, begins in 15th July with John Haroulis, in the 4th August a cretan night with Georgia Dagaki and Stergios Tsirliagos, George and Harris Pantermakis and John Hinos(Yala), in the 5th August with Thanos Mikroutsikos and Rita Antonopoulou and many more to come which will be soon promulgated. HISTORY In August 1995, the MEDITERRANEAN TOURIST BUSINESS S.A. (ME.T.E. S.A.) was founded by a group of dynamic and successful businessmen of the city of Chania. The intensive tourism recurring the last years in the districts of Chania and Rethymnon, the wealth of the local people and also the tendency to encourage new and innovative ways of entertainment resulted in research motivation as well as in key success factors that initiated the first activity of the company. ME.T.E. S.A. originated and developed in Chania dis-
trict. Today, after the successful introduction and initiation of its activities, the company stands a pride for the local population of Crete, an example for imitation in Greece and a promise for further achievements to itself. IDENTITY, PHILOSOPHY ME.T.E. S.A. consists of a number of physical and legal entities that engage in business activities mainly in the city of Chania. The stock capital of the company reaches today the 1.700.000 €. According to the business plan, the company’s objective is to provide organization of show and entertainment activities, to practice tourist business and activities of any kind and in general, to invest in new types of tourism or other activities which apply to sports and tourism. The ultimate customer satisfaction and the contribution in the development of the local business capital constitute company’s goal and objectives. The increasing development of the tourist business in Crete, the rich and diverse tourist infrastructure of the district of Chania and the need - lack of alternative types of tourism led the company in construction of a water park based on the finest international standards. The Chania water park named LIMNOUPOLIS started operating on the 2nd of June 1997. INFRASTRUCTURE Limnoupolis is a water city covering an area of almost 100 yards, lying on the emerald roots of the White Mountains. All facilities were implemented and completed with the use of the most updated technological infrastructure, in consistency with natural surroundings and environmental issues. The water amusement park has cutting edge technology facilities and technical equipment of the finest quality. The architectural study and design were executed by a well-known international office and the games supplies are imported from a company located in Canada and provides supplies and games to Disneyland as well. DYNAMICS - PERSPECTIVE The rapidly growing tourism, the facilities and location of the park and the natural beauties of the area, the entertainment element provided, the finest infrastructure and the great variety of activities are features of the most innovative and ambitious effort on the island up to now. The direct connection of the business with the sectors of tourism, sports and entertainment along with the continuous development of alternative forms of tourist services are the best signs for future growth and establishment of the company. HUMAN RESOURCES ME.T.E. S.A. is managed by a 7-membered Board of Directors, all of which are well-established businessmen in their expertise fields. Experienced and scientific personnel com-
pose the manpower of M.T.B. S.A., while experts such doctors, lifeguards, instructors, chefs, etc… guarantee the flawless operation of all the activities. VISITORS The impressive total of the 1.200.000 visitors throughout the seven operational periods of Limnoupolis is the reward for careful and hard work. A customer satisfaction research proves that 95% of the visitors are satisfied due to the successful way the park operates. Same research showed high rates of repetitive visitors, a fact that proves the highly qualitative services offered in the area. SERVICES The visitor of the park has the possibility of choosing among a multitude of entertaining and educational water-games and not only these. Central swimming pool 1.500 m2 You will be impressed by the size of this pool at first sight. Don’t tell me it’s not the first time you have swum in a 1500 square meters pool. An enormous aquatic oasis with classified depth and separate really deep area of 3.80meter which will make you feel like swimming in the sea. Try to dive from the springboard and submerse in deep blue. You won’t reach the bottom anyway… You can enjoy the view of the beautiful trees, grass and flowers all around the pool and the artificial island in the middle which gives you the sense that you are far away from everything… There are many comfortable sun beds and umbrellas in the pool area, waiting to provide you with a nice relaxing shadow, even in the most hidden spots, under trees, so that nobody disturbs you. Have a nap, chat with your company, enjoy your drink or snack from the pool bar, stay as long as you like, though you will soon miss the cool water!! Childrens Pool Have you ever seen a pool with an island inside? You will in Limnoupolis!! An island with funny games for little fellows: a wooden barrel that turns around and splashes you with water, little falls, climbing, Lilliputian slides and many more to keep your kids busy and excited!!! You can get there through the Fun rope Bridge. Hold on to the ropes and try to reach the other side without splashing into the water. Can you do it? Another little challenge for you and your friends! Beside is the children’s pool with shallow water where kids can swim safely and enjoy the action around them. Black Hole This will be the most fled black hole you have ever imagined of! You slide so fast for 80 whole meters, inside a fascinating, swirl waterslide-tunnel, living the absolute “lost” feeling!!! Scream as loud as you want, enjoy your fear and at the end have a fast steep dive into the cool water. Finally it’s over; or it’s time to do it again????
p.25 Chania Free Fall Are you bold enough to try a vertical free fall of 55 meter off the ground? Or to be more specific “off the water”. Because, you will end in the pool after this breathtaking slide. There are two routes of Free Fall, so that you can share the absolute fear feeling with your friends. Multi Slide - Rainbow An endless downhill multi slide of 5 routes, in the colors of the rainbow, to “fly” down from above with your friends or family. For 60 whole meters, water takes you down through multiple tosses, lifts you off and deplanes you, transforming the entire slide experience into a real launch. The end of this?? … a long splash into the cool water!!! Triple Twist How does it feel to slide down impetuously pushed by water and at the same time to swirl in a triple slide which looks like a strand, ending diving to the cool water like a missile? There are no limits here, be prepared to increase your heartbeats! Find two fearless friends and share the three choices of classified swirl for your starting. Don’t loose this unique experience that makes you feel like a living maypole in the water!!! Giant Slide If you belong to those who don’t like to risk, but still want to feel the heartbeat, be prepared for a giant water delight! You will live the excitement of the continual turns of an endless declivity for 130 meters, “falling” from the left to the right, testing your resistance. The water will drift you in a sense of a “lift off” despite the fact you are going down. Once you splash into the pool in the end, you will have the smile of happiness in your face!!! Crazy River Wouldn’t it be an absolute madness to rush like a tornado into the eddy of a swirl river and, at the same time to enjoy a breathtaking view? Have you already started feeling dizzy? It’s absolutely normal, since you have to run through 100 meters of intense thrill and surprises, because the crazy river makes you dive suddenly into unexpected lakes throughout the way. Take advantage of these little breaks to get ready for more . Hold on tight and no doubt so ever, you will ask for more as soon as you reach the end!!! Lazy River Maybe you are exhausted from all this endless, adventurous action of the previous games, or maybe you just came to Limnoupolis to enjoy the cool water in a more relaxing tempo. Take your own float, take your time and travel around the lazy river for 260 meters. It’s one of the most impressive places in Limnoupolis, of 5 meters width and a spectacular decoration of natural
stones, caves and falls. Here you are free to feel lazy, listen to music, lounge around; take pictures even enjoy your drink while floating away… Whatever your age, the carefree of Lazy River is exactly what you need after an intense day in Limnoupolis! Tarzan Game Do you want to live for a while like Tarzan in the jungle?? In the big pool, you will find a multicolored wooden platform with the game of Tarzan. Dry your hands, hold on to the pulley and enjoy your air ride over water. Don’t worry if you can’t hold on any more just let go and splash into the pool, next time you will go further!! Jacuzzi Do you like bubbles? There is a separate area in the pool where you can live the experience of a relaxing Jacuzzi or just leave the water gently tickle your body. Kids or grown ups, all agree in one thing: they must get into that Jacuzzi! Besides we all deserve a little luxury in our vacations, don’t we??? Additional services - 2 bars - 1 fast food - Traditional restaurant - Locker rooms - First Aid - 500 seat parking LIMNOUPOLIS has been selected by distinguished Greek artists and many performances have been accomplished in a series of manifestations, like concerts, fashion shows, t.v. programs e.t.c. Substructure Limnoupolis is a water-city of about 25 acres, spreading on an all green slope of the fringes of Lefka Ori mountain. The installations of the park have been done on the criterion of harmonizing a high technological equipment with the natural environment of the installation place. The water park has modern installations and a high technological substructure. The architectural design was entrusted to a big office in abroad and the recreation games are imported by the same manufacturing company which supplies the Disneyland park.
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Wild fashion-Patchwork Palace and hummingbirds Exhibitiion in Yiali Tzamisi from Maria Hoffmeister and Linda Talbot
Maria Hoffmeister was not to know the drummer who was the central character in her painting of a jazz band, would have a row with his fellow musicians and leave. So she had to start this commission for a 16 year old’s birthday present again. She experimented with mediums and the paint cracked and every subsequent picture had some flaw. She placed the band, minus drummer, at a crossroads. It didn’t work. Eventually she put them in a forest on chairs whose legs did not touch the ground and this semi surreal idea was a resounding success! Her painting has been inventive ever since but she is equally involved with fabric and its creative potential. So she will exhibit textile mosaics, exotic humming birds and starfish in
her show “Light Travels” with collages by Linda Talbot in the small gallery at the Yiali Tzamisi Mosque in the old harbour, Hania, from September 11 to 16. Maria’s work explores the qualities of light and change. She explains, “For the last 25 years I have worked with two main themes; the different aspects of reality such as fact, point of view, illusion, imagination and belief and the question of how to balance logic and planned precision with random chaos. “Since 2006, I’ve focussed in this context, on a conceptual and practical approach of splitting and recombining “realities”. At the moment, I’m using textiles - fabrics with their many colours and textures allow me to play with light and dimensions in a new way, with results that would be hard to achieve with paint.” Her collection of humming birds, hung in olive branches, that flash and glitter with colourful fabric and sequins, are one example of this exploration, while her starfish are symbols for guidance and safe travel - a light in the dark. Maria’s name itself means “star of the sea.” Her textile mosaics, suggest an undulating landscape and imply an inner, ongoing journey. WILD FASHION/PATCHWORK PALACE by Linda Talbot is a collection, combining watercolour and collage, which includes too a mosaic effect. It was suggested by the way that street art has inspired fashion designers who have transferred it onto fabric. Linda has turned the tables - turning printed aspects of her
initial designs for clothes, into collage and applying it to the walls of buildings - in this case, the Alhambra Palace in Granada. So, from the Golden Saloon to the Portico of the Generaliffe - you will detect details from the clothes of the “Women of Wild Fashion” shown alongside. Linda also shows “TABLE TOP” - a light hearted look at objects - from the decorative and quirky to the outlandish and surreal, that might, with imagination, be found on tables! The exhibition is open daily from 10.30am to 9pm and the opening night, where all are welcome, is from 7pm on Thursday, September 12.
DAILY MAIL: “Malia 2013: Three British girls raped in a week in notorious Crete party resort” UK women are spending their holidays worrying about sex attacks amid claims that three have been raped in a week What’s happening in Malia? With its countless bars flogging cheap booze and all-night party lifestyle, it’s easy to see why Malia is a magnet for young Brits wanting to have fun in the sun. But the mix of free-flowing alcohol and girls in skimpy clothing is also attracting a more sinister sort to the crowded resort – rapists. And UK women are now spending their holidays worrying about sex attacks amid claims that three have been raped in the past seven days. The hedonistic party town on the Greek island of Crete is still reeling from the brutal knife murder of British holidaymaker Tyrell Matthews-Burton during a brawl. But on a night out this weekend, the Mirror discovered the fear of violence was being outweighed by that of rape – as
it is in other popular seaside resorts across the Mediterranean. Locals claim police are turning a blind eye to the attacks, leading to vigilante justice, and many victims do not even bother to report attacks or were too drunk to remember the details. A police spokesman said: “I can confirm one rape as it happened on my shift. But probably there are three or four maybe more. Lots of girls they don’t report it.” Official statistics on rape in Crete are difficult to come by but according to the most recent records there were 25 reports of rapes on British women in 2011. But those who live and work in Malia fear the true number is much higher. The number of Britons sexually attacked or raped abroad rose 10% last year to 310 from 281 cases in 2011. Greece, Spain, and Turkey had the worst records. A tourist was raped during a massage at a hotel spa, a woman managed to fight off a knifeman who broke into her hotel room and a third was attacked by a taxi driver. After a night out on the streets of Malia it is difficult to avoid the conclusion the resort is all but lawless. During our eighthour odyssey we saw just two policemen and they spent most of their time having coffee in a secluded bar. When we did speak to one officer in the early hours he just shrugged and said: “We are doing all we can, what more can we do?” The Chief of Police refused to give us an interview. But walking up and down the neon-lit strip, it is hard not to have sympathy with the hard-pressed police. The place stinks of stale urine and drunk tourists think nothing of relieving themselves in the street in full view of others. There’s vomit splashed on litter-strewn pavements, and periodically you spot girls dutifully holding a friend’s hair back as they throw up in the gutter. Everywhere British teens wearing as little as possible, of both sexes, are desperate to drink more and sleep with more people than their friends. Most of the revellers are aged between 16 and 20, but can be as young as 14. A group of girls wearing little more then skimpy crop-tops with I Love Malia on the front and miniscule hot pants are being chased by a gang of muscle-bound males in vest tops and ripped T-shirts. This collective madness is fuelled by gallons of cheap booze with many of the bars and nightclubs offering six-for-one deals on shots such as tequila and vodka for as little as £3. The most famous drink is the Headf*****, served in a large fishbowl and made up of Baileys, chilli powder, tequila, absinthe, ouzo, vodka, cider and gin. It can cost less than £10. Many of the clubs are free to get into and are soon bursting at the seams. Down a side alley groups of youths organise a fist fight. As
their mates egg them on, two teenagers go toe-to-toe in the darkness for a few seconds – then it’s over as quickly as it began. A typical night begins around 11pm before exploding at about 2am when the cheap drink deals do their worst. The human cost is obvious at the Central Malia Medical centre where, on average, 50 Britons a night turn up. A weary medic at the centre admitted the place was like a war zone at times. The heady mix of cheap booze, raging hormones and lax policing has meant Malia, where a week away costs around £300, has taken over from Faliraki in Rhodes, Ayia Napa in Cyprus, Magaluf and Benidorm in Spain, as the Med’s most notorious resort for debauchery.
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Cretan ntakos going for the Guinness Book of Records It represented Crete and it was 8m long
It took 120 kilos of flour, 50 kilos of cheese, 100 kilo of tomatoes and 20 kilos of oil, along with enough oregano to build the largest nut in the world, a Cretan scrumptious ntakos, which has been made with care and attention by the members of the cultural club “To Rodo”, in August 25th. In the thicket of Agii Apostoli, Crete was reflected in detail in a ntakos made by the bakers Fouraki Bros. After being well wetted with water to soften, women from “Rodo” rubbed tomato, mixed it with olive oil and Crete be-
gan to “blush”. Then, 50 kilos of mizithra cheese began to spread out and ntakos gained its white color just like the peaks of Psiloreitis and the White Mountains. The last step was to spread oregano over the island. The members of the club are now awaiting the official opinion of Guinness, after all the videos and images taken which will be sent abroad for verification for a record. Length of ntakos ... 7 feet and 45 inches and a width of 1 meter and 67 centimeters.
Shortly after the end of the effort for the World Guinness Record, “Rodo” shared the delicious delicacy to the people who were watching the event. The festival ended with Cretan feast and traditional dances from “Rodo”. As the President of the club, Nikos Mathioudakis, stated: “Regardless of whether the ntakos will be included in Guinness world records, the club’s aim is that the Cretan diet, through this specific action as well, will surpass the country’s borders and become known everywhere.”
Innovative program for automatic adjustments of traffic lights First implemented in Europe from the Municipality of Chania An innovative, pioneering and full automated electronic system for optimal regulation and coordination of traffic lights, is implemented for a few months in the city of Chania, by the competent Department of Traffic Signals and Traffic Affairs in collaboration with the University of Crete, through European research program “AGILE”. The purpose of the program is the implementation and development of a system which will automatically improve the existing traffic control. This system manages to significantly improve traffic conditions in motorways and urban roads. Municipality of Chania is responsible for providing the data traffic volumes, overseeing the proper and smooth functioning of the systems, during trials and permanent operation. This action is a part of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission which funds innovative development proposals and
applications of new technologies. It is worth noting that “AGILE” is firsdt implemented in Chania. Except the Municipality of Chania, many other partners are taking part, including the National Centre for Research and Technological Development (project coordinator), the University of Cyprus, the Pennsylvania State University (USA) and the Institute Fraunhofer (Germany). The participants belong to the world leaders in development and operation of Control Traffic Signals. Finally, it is noteworthy that the Municipality of Chania, is already implementing a broader strategy traffic control system, developed by the Technical University of Crete, under the name TUC, while since 2000 is applying the traffic control strategy TAS (traffic automatic system). For further information of the program you can visit the website http://www.agile-fp7. eu.
Weddings in Crete
How to choose your perfect wedding destination Advantages and disadvantages of wedding planners So, you’ve decided that you would like to get married abroad – how do you decide where would be best? We recommend drawing up a shortlist of your favourite destinations and then asking yourselves these key questions to determine which would be the ideal place for you both and your families, as appropriate: How easy and economic is the destination going to be to get to? Crete, for example, is under four hours away from both the UK and Oslo. Return flights can be found for less than 100 Euros low season, making it a feasible destination for all your guests. Would you like to have visited your destination before the wedding so that you have a good idea of what to expect? In which case, you need to factor in the costs and ease of doing this. Crete, for example, is now easier than ever to visit, with flights available not only from major charter companies, but also from the budget airlines, including Easyjet and Ryanair, who fly into both Heraklion and Chania airports, from a selection of airports across the UK. How many guests are you inviting and are they of all ages? When inviting family and friends to what – for them - is essentially a holiday abroad couples often find that they have all kinds of tastes and additional requirements to meetfrom Younger guests who might want to ‘party’ all night; friends with children who want a relaxing holiday with lots of amenities for children, and older guests who are not so keen on sunbathing all day and want other more cultural (or just more quiet) entertainment. Crete is, in fact, the perfect place for meeting all these groups, as it is a large island with a fantastic history. There is a wide choice of accommodation types and lots to do and see for those who want more than its clear blue sea and sand. Your wedding planner can advise you of the best place to choose, once she knows who you are inviting!
If you are looking for sunshine, how hot do you want it to be? Depending on the time of year, for example, Crete can offer a range of temperatures and conditions. As a very fertile island, Crete is actually at its most beautiful in early spring – March and April – masses of wild flowers bloom everywhere and the olive groves are adorned with bright yellow flowers…so for those couples looking for a great spring destination Crete is perfect, not too hot but with sunny days. Then comes hot summer from May to September, perfect for those who love sunbathing, swimming and knowing for sure that the sun will shine tomorrow! October and even November are mild months compared to the Northern cold – lots of sun although the evenings are cooler and the rains come to rejuvenate all the dried up land. Would you like a beach wedding without crowds of onlookers in bikinis and Speedos? Crete is an island over 260 km long, with many sandy beaches all around the island, so although many do have sunloungers and swimmers all day, if you are prepared to travel a bit you can find an amazing beach, practically private to you and your guests. Perhaps you would like to look at other wedding venues. How about a Venetian fort with a view onto the sea? Or in the garden of your villa? Or a part of your hotel? Crete can offer you all of these options, all over the island… WEDDING PLANNERS You know you want to get married abroad, maybe you have already decided on getting married in Crete, but you don’t know the best way to go about it - after all, you are not there, and you can’t see any of the options for yourself, except in photos.... There are a number of different ways you could organise a wedding in Crete.
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As in the UK, you have a number of different options. There are: - Travel companies offering wedding packages. - Individual hotels offering wedding packages. - Wedding planners who operate throughout Greece and other overseas destinations. - Specialist wedding planners, like Weddings in Crete, who will organise weddings tailormade to your requirements and budgets. As always, each will have its’ advantages and disadvantages: Travel Company, Crete wedding packages Advantages - You know what your costs are from the beginning, and they are likely to offer some of the more competitive rates. Disadvantages - Your ‘wedding planner’ will be a holiday representative who will have other duties apart from wedding planning, and may not be as familiar with your resort and destination and may have limited local knowledge. - You may not always be given an advance, guaranteed time for your ceremony and in some cases may not be given it until you arrive in Crete, or arrive at your hotel. - Your ceremony will be in a fixed location and at a time prearranged by the travel company and hotel which might not be of your choosing. This may mean, for example, you find your marriage will be taking place during the hottest time of day, which is not necessarily the most comfortable for you and your guests. - Often the sort of extras you might assume would be included in standard packages, are not; so do check the smallprint. Receptions, flowers, hairdressing and entertainment will often be charged out on top of the package price you are originally quoted Hotel Weddings Advantages - Many hotels offer the free services of a ‘wedding planner’ to help you if you want your wedding to take place in their hotel. - Your ceremony and reception are in the same venue so you save on travel costs
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Disadvantages - If you have any queries or issues on the day, you will personally have to deal direct with the hotel planner or member of staff, which can easily make what should be the most enjoyable day of your life, quite stressful. - The wedding planner allocated to you by the hotel may not be very experienced. So it is worth asking the hotel how many weddings they have organised and if they have always used the same planner. - Greek people are always very anxious to please, and will assure you that everything you ask for is possible; this is also true of Greek hotel wedding planners – however this may turn out not to be the case and can be very disappointing. - You are limited in both ceremony and reception venues – they must take place in the hotel grounds and may be at times you would not choose yourself. - The hotel may require a minimum number of guests at their hotel which will restrict those guests who might prefer a choice of accommodation to suit their own preferences and budget - Hotel wedding receptions may not be in private venues, and often have to end early so as not to disturb other guests - Hotel weddings often lack the personal touches which make your wedding unique. They tend to be formulaic – the same types of decorations, the same ceremony, the same reception layout etc Greek Wedding planners Advantages - You get a choice of where and when you have your ceremony and reception -You have a Greek speaking co-ordinator on hand - Your requirements for extras should be catered for Disadvantages - A Greek planning company often operates in a number of islands, which means that they have no specialisation in Crete itself, and may not have the depth of local knowledge that a specialist will have - They may contract out to a local planner but your communication will not be with the local planner until you arrive in Crete - Your local planner may not have a lot of experience
Crete wedding planners Advantages - You get to choose where you have your ceremony and reception with all sorts of venues – from the more conventional.......to the more unusual.....or more informal..... - You get to choose every aspect of your wedding and to ‘pick the brains’ of experts who can advise you on the very best Crete has to offer - Usually Greek speaking and have been living in the region - You benefit directly from their extensive local, and more importantly current, knowledge to assure you enjoy the best possible food and service at all times - You can be assured that the suppliers used are all licensed and can be relied on to deliver a ‘quality product’ - A Cretan wedding planner can ensure your Cretan wed-
ding is stress-free - everything is arranged how you would like it so that the experience matches or exceeds your expectations. Disadvantages - They can appear more expensive, although this will depend on your expectations of the day. - Although many packages appear cheaper they may well not offer everything you are looking for from your special day. - Some Crete wedding planners [front page] are not very experienced, so always do your research and check for testimonials. Reference:
Meet the world... in Greece May be the best internet campaign for the country Another inventive and original promotional campaign for Greece, can be found on the world wide web, impressing the users! This campaign was inspired by Aris Kalogeropoulos, and it was titled “Meet the world in Greece». It is based on the idea that Greece has all the beauties of the world in such a small area. Or better ... the whole universe! The well known photographer chose pictures of areas in Greece, which many of them could have been shot some-
where else. In Hawaii, the Amazon, in Tibet or even the ... Jupiter or Mars. And of course could not be missing from the campaign. Two “magical” areas of the island are present in the photos in order to “reconstruct” the beaches of Hawaii and the legendary Grand Canyon of Arizona. Those are the exotic palm forest of Vai in Lassithi and the rugged canyon of Arvi in Heraklion.
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STELIOS MPIKAKIS - Unique traditional Cretan voice
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Stelios Mpikakis is quite a famous singer in Crete. Most of his songs’ lyrics are written by him, and the music is also composed by him. He was born in Rethymnon in 1965. He has played the lyre since he was 14 and has performed in public since the early age of 16. His particular synthesis is influenced from Cretan music, as well as from other kinds of Greek music. Many people in Crete have criticized him for diverging from what they’re used to nominating as “Cretan music” but Mpikakis successfully manages to blend different Greek sounds into an outstanding result. On the other hand some believe that his songs constitute an aspect of the evolution of traditional music of Crete. Stelios Bikakis is one of the most lovable artists, especially in young people. His collaborations are many with almost all the great artists of Crete, mentioning John Markogiannakis (Markogianni), Nick Mannias, George Koukakis, Andreas Meladakis, the teacher of the Cretan lute Evangelos Markogiannakis (Markovangelis), his step brother Mihalis Tzouganakis, John Seisakis, Michael Fragkiadakis etc. In recent years, Stelios has enriched his repertoire with several folk songs managing to enter in other musical directions outside Crete. The song “Genethlia (Birthday)” in which he wrote the lyrics and performed first, has seen unprecedented success both with his voice and the voice of the great Greek singer Notis Sfakianakis.
STELIOS MPIKAKIS DISCOGRAPHY http://www.studio52.gr
Which Greek island should you go to? A tribute to Greece from CNN by Sanjay Surana
Greece’s 1,400 islands -- 230 of them inhabited -- are one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful assets.From the Ionian, up by Albania in the northwest, to the Dodecanese, near Turkey in the southeast, they offer vacations you can’t get many other places. Each of the island groups has its unique allure, plus some of the most picturesque seascapes on Earth. But for sheer variety in a small radius, proximity to Athens’ ferry port at Piraeus and the best inter-island boat connections, none compete with the Cyclades. We present the top nine islands in and around the Cyclades, each with its marquee attraction (for ferry schedules, check www.gtp.gr or www.greekferries.gr).
The 4 senses restaurant... Follow the Path of an absolute gastronomic delight...
Best scenery: Santorini The story behind this island is the stuff of legends -- in 1600 BC after a volcano erupted and its center collapsed into the sea, it left behind parts of its caldera that today form the island Santorini. The views from pretty much anywhere on this crescent-shaped outcrop are superb. Sheer rock faces are striated in multitudinous shades, villages and towns cling to the tops of cliffs, the caldera is filled with clear deep turquoise water home to the visiting cruise liners. The whitewashed buildings in the main town Fira resemble a fresh blanket of snow atop a mountain. On the northern tip, at Oia, where the sunsets are outstanding, houses, hotels and churches tumble down the rock walls. Every evening bus loads of tourists descend to watch the sun sink into the Aegean. The scenery is as just impressive at sea level. Red Beach, as the name suggests, has a rust-colored backdrop and Mars-esque boulders, Eros Beach’s eerie hoodoo-like walls would fit right in at a national park in Utah, and Caldera Beach, the only one that faces in toward the caldera, gives visitors a discernible sense of the volcano’s immensity. Best nightlife: Mykonos Mykonos is Greece’s answer to Ibiza, but without the attitude and posturing. Either side of the summer season Mykonos resembles another low-key beach destination but come July and August,
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night owls arrive in droves, and the main streets of Mykonos Town are packed with revelers -- even revelers with babies strapped into carriers. At times the narrow alleys are so jammed with bodies the only way to move is en masse with the crowd as it sways through the streets in a singular motion. In true Greek style, nothing here starts until late, though you can party in the daytime with 20-something Italians at Super Paradise beach. A popular start is to have drinks at sunset at the Sea Breeze Cocktail Bar in Little Venice, snagging a table up the steps for the best views. Across the island at Kalo Livadi you can find an unfussy beach where the new Nice n Easy bio-restaurant has fantastic organic fare at reasonable prices (the pasta with sharp kopanisti cheese is excellent). Back in town, Jackie O’ is a lively waterfront bar that draws the gay crowd, Agyra Bar has attractive, hard-bodied staff from Athens and at the always packed Rock ‘n’ Roll, where local and tourists are evenly split, the bartender blows a whistle before doling out oxygen shots. My personal favorite is the bar/club Caprice, where all are united in their mission to just have fun, no judgments, no agenda; the barmen are as much into the music and dancing as the customers (they’ll readily pour free shots of jelly liqueur). Best traditional village life: Naxos The largest island in the Cyclades has a string of swoon-worthy beaches on its west coast, a Venetian castle in its main town, some interesting ruins and great local produce and dairy. But what sets it apart from the other islands are its traditional villages. When you leave Chora, where the ferries berth, the pull of village life is evident -- note the sign at the outskirts of town that simply reads “Villages.” There are 46 of them on Naxos, some miniscule, but all a window into traditional life. Each has a bakery or cafe, a village square where old men with sun-creased faces sit around on tables drinking coffee and trading stories and an immaculately preserved church or two. The hamlets are tucked among the hills and the switchback road that crisscrosses the island.
We use and promote local, quality products in combination with the revival of traditional flavours and new gastronomic proposals from 12:00 pm to 00:00 at midnight.
Platanias, Chania Tel. +30 6976 860573 www.olive-tree.gr
p.39 Chania Kinidaros is famous for its bakery (the best on the island, the oven fired by wood) and musicians; Chalki has the excellent artisanal jam shop Era; locals come to the cobble-stoned streets of Apeiranthos to eat the crepes at Samardako; Keramoti sits in a valley, seemingly cut off from civilization, but it’s also the base for hikes to Routsouna waterfall. Since most tourists don’t venture inland, the villages haven’t succumbed to money-grabbing gimmicks. Best kiteboarding and windsurfing: Paros The constant wind on Paros is evident as the ferry approaches the island -- you can see giant turbine fans steadily cartwheeling on the north coast. While Paros might be as cosmopolitan at Mykonos (without the Louis Vuitton and Diesel stores) and pretty enough to attract Hollywood royalty (Tom Hanks purchased a house in the neighborhood, on sister island Andiparos), the real draw here is the force of nature. During the summer, the Meltemi winds blaze down through the Aegean, supplying welcome breezes for beachgoers, but also creating conditions ripe for windsurfing and kiteboarding. The winds peak in intensity during July and August; the five-mile channel that divides Paros from its neighbor Naxos funnels the Meltemi to glorious effect. The main beaches for the sports are Pounda on the west of the island and Santa Maria, Golden Beach (Chryssi Akti), and New Golden Beach (Nea Chryssi Akti) on the east (New Golden Beach’s winds are so reliable that The Professional Windsurfers Association held its World Cup there for six consecutive years in the 1990s). For newbies, mornings are the best time to learn, when the wind is steady but tame. By early afternoon, when the gusts pick up and continue till dusk, pro boarders and windsurfers skim and bounce along the water. Established operators include Paros Kite Pro Center, Force 7
Paros, and Paros Surf Club. Visitors should time their visit around the island’s most important festivity, on August 15, celebrating the Virgin Mary’s ascension to heaven and culminating in a giant fireworks display mounted on boats in the bay of the port town Parikia. Best beaches: Milos Every islander has their favorite beach, but none of the Cyclades promises the number and diversity of beaches as volcanic Milos. Some have white sand, some black, some are rocky, others offer the satisfying sensation of crushed shells underfoot, with water ranging from emerald to aquamarine to cobalt blue. With a heavily indented coastline (on a map Milos resembles a mutated crab) and pretty little coves at every turn, Milos has about 80 fine beaches, many only accessible by boat. While each has its charm, some should not be missed. Sarakiniko, a beach of brilliant white pumice, looks truly otherworldly (many liken it to the moon). The three beaches of Paliochori are cupped by towering rock formations, its pebbles are multicolored and the sea water has warm pockets where it’s fed by hot underwater mineral springs. The small Tzigrado beach is flanked by headlands, and can only be accessed by boat or by a ladder down the cliffs. A cave borders the even tinier Papafragas beach, while the rock walls that enclose it give the water the appearance of a river starting in the sand. At Paliorema beach you can wander around an abandoned sulfur mine plant, see the wagons used to transport the chemical and look for sulfur crystals growing among the rocks.
...the tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, strawberries, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that grow in Crete taste as nature intended!
Best for nature lovers: Ikaria This rugged, wing-shaped island on the cusp of the Cy-
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clades and named for Icarus -- the son of Daedalus who fled from Crete, got too close to the sun and tumbled into the sea just offshore -- has gained fame for the longevity of its residents. Their diet, strong community and daily exercise mean Ikarian men are four times as likely as American men to reach the age of 90, according to a study by the University of Athens Medical School. The 99-square mile island is basically one large mountain, peaking in the central Pramnos-Atheras range. For such a small area, the geographic variation is astounding -- Ikaria has rivers and tiny lakes, high forests of pine and oak, and hills at every turn that combine to make Ikaria an Elysian Field for outdoor buffs. Ikaria’s network of mountain paths known as monopatia is an informal web of routes that connects villages. The hiking guide “Round of Rahes on Foot,” published by the local municipalities, details tracks and trails on the west of the island and also maps out a 15-mile tour along monopatia through the hills and villages of northwest Ikaria. The trek brings hikers through farmland, bush, forest, past lakes, along donkey tracks, skirting goat herds and introduces visitors to the unhurried pace and uncomplicated nature of Ikarian life (this is an island where bakeries use the honor system). After a hard day of tramping, trekkers can rejuvenate aching muscles at the mineral bath houses of Therma (whose waters, according to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, have the highest concentration of the therapeutic element radon in Greece), or look for the steam rising from various spots around the coast like Lefkada, where heated water emits and joins the Aegean. Best Robinson Crusoe destination: Koufonisia Actually two islands, Kato and Ano (meaning lower and upper) Koufonisia, with the former almost uninhabited, are like a land that tourism forgot, mainly because the quickest ferry from Athens takes six hours. Home to only a few hundred residents, Ano Koufonisi is tiny, just 2.2 square miles, so walking or cycling round the island are the most efficient modes of getting about. (continue on p.40)
p.40 Chania The main industry, apart from the creeping reach of tourism, is fishing, and the main town of Chora retains the feel of an untouched fishing village, with small boats bobbing in the harbor. There’s not a whole lot to do here, but that’s the idea. You can hire a caique (traditional wooden boat) for a trip to the nearby island of Keros, where examples of early Cycladic figurines have been carefully excavated. Otherwise life settles into a slow rhythm of going to beaches like Finikias, Platia Pounta, Fanos and the naturist-friendly Pori, taking a caique trip to the deserted strands of sand on Kato Koufonisia, or visiting the churches of Agios Nikolaos, Profitis Ilias, and Agios Georgios. Best couples getaway: Folegandros Santorini is often the go-to island for couples in these parts, but another Cycladian island where houses perch on clifftops is an even better escape for lovebirds. The mountainous, mostly treeless Folegandros doesn’t get the crowds of the islands around it thanks to sparser ferry service, a boon for twosomes in search of some solitude with their sun and sand. The main village of the island, Chora, set on a cliff plateau 650 feet up, embodies the archetypal image of Cycladic buildings of small white houses with blue doors lining cobblestoned street. The Kastro, the Venetian part of Chora, is well preserved while the majority of the island appears as it has for centuries, devoid of buildings in favor of open landscapes. Donkeys remain a widely used means of transportation and goats scramble up and down the sun-baked hills. Painters and writers from Europe come to Folegandros for quiet inspiration and the most enduring memories of a visit here are the silence and the bays with crystal clear water. The one not-to-be-missed site is the northeastern cave of
Chrysopelia, where ancient names are written in clay into the walls, a custom from the Hellenistic Period. Best food: Crete A 90-minute high-speed catamaran ride from Santorini, Crete is Greece’s Wild West, where the locals are fiercely independent and have a fondness for guns (used, I’m assured, only to shoot at street signs or into the air during festivities).
Its 3,200 square miles are blessed with scores of microclimates, fertile soil and crops that haven’t succumbed to the scourge of industrial farming. Which means that the tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, strawberries, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that grow here taste as nature intended. The topography of central mountains ringed by shimmering coastline allows two growing seasons -- lower elevations in the winter, higher elevations in the summer -- and Crete is a hub for olive oil, cheese and wine production. Eat at a traditional taverna (even a touristy one) or kafenio (Greek café) and you’d be hard pushed to have a bad meal
because the raw ingredients are so darned good. Elounda, on the island’s northeast coast, is surrounded by some of the island’s great agricultural areas, like the Lasithi plateau, has a selection of hotels for all budgets, and some excellent examples of what makes Greek mainlanders sigh when they think of the divine freshness of Crete’s cuisine. Ergospasio Restaurant, a former old stone carob factory, serves just-caught seafood overlooking Elounda harbor. The Ferryman Taverna is a local favorite, and for reason -- the mezes make great use of Crete’s agricultural bounty. Manolis Kafeneion on the main square is a great spot to share meze and raki (a fiery alcoholic drink made with grapes that locals drink after a meal) with Cretans. Comments on the article Roscoe Chait When I was 22, I got off the bus in a little fishing village in Crete, knocked on someone’s door and asked if they had a room for rent. They rented me a room and then adopted me. I lived with the family for 2 months, ate what they ate, went to the taverna every day when the man came home from work. The best 2 months of my life. The people of Crete are a people apart from others, friendly, caring and independent. cricky_crick Been to 7 out of 9 mentioned here. Avoid Santorini and Mykonos (thus, unavoidable rudeness) if you hate tourist crowd, though the caldera in Santorini is out of this world, I must say. Crete and Folegandros were my favorite and the relaxing Syfnos too. I grew up in Southeast asia, so I have different opinion when it comes to the definition of beautiful beach. With that said, sorching beaches with freezing mediterranean water are not my cup of tea. I did see lots of breast (some beautiful and some frightening), and culture and history in these islands are phenomenal. Valentijn We did a day trip to Santorini while staying on Crete, and that was manageable. Got all the great sights without having to deal with the crowds for more than a few hours.
traditional cretan and greek cuisine. Our dishes are well prepared using only local products, fresh ingredients and cretan olive oil. High quality seafood and meat at affordable prices!
Agia Marina tel. 28210-68666
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Right by the sea..! Enjoy the beautiful sunset..!
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Just c a
ll us f or del iver y
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The best affordable way to travel Western Crete. Public regular bus service to Chania - Rethimno - Heraklion... and to all the villages of southwestern Crete
Time of Greece: GMT +2
Let me be your guide Chania in...12 5 pages Chania Prefecture Prefecture in... pages
A few things you have to know
Crete, the 5th biggest Med Island, lies in the southern frontier of Europe. Crete combines mountains and sea, the new alongside with the old and ancient with contemporary history. It is a cultural crossroad due to its strategic geographical position. English, German, French, Russian and other languages are widely spoken in tourist resorts. The climate is a factor that greatly contributes to its attractiveness. It is mild Mediterranean – dry and warm, which means high sunshine all year round, very small seasonal changes in temperatures and no extreme weather phenomena. Tap water is safe for consumption, the consumption of bottled water is recommended. The international call code for Greece is +30.
where to go what to visit what to eat travel information museums excursions shopping Beaches in Chania
There are many beautiful beaches available in the county of Chania (415 km coastline), many of which are organised for bathers and are combined with exceptional hotel units.
The beaches of Nea Chora, Chrissi Akti (4km W), Agioi Apostoloi (5km W), Stalos (7km W), Agia Marina (12km W), Platanias (15km W), Gerani (15km W), Kissamos (35km W), Balos (55km W), Falassarna (52km W), Elafonissi (73km SW), Paleochora (72km S), Sougia (60km S), Loutro (84km S by boat from Sfakia), Fragokastelo (78km S), Sfakia (70km S), Marathi (17km E), Stavros (17km NE), Kalives (20km E), Almirida (21km E), Georgoupolis (37km E), Kavros (42km E), Kalathas (13km NE) are only a small selection of the most popular beaches of Chania, most of them awarded with blue flag. Make your choice!
Historical - Folklore Museum of Gavalochori Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Accessible for people with special needs: Yes Address: Gavalochori Apokoronou Museum of Typography by the newspaper “Haniotika Nea” Accessible for people with special needs: Yes Address: Park of local industries, Building 13-03 Operation Hours: Monday to Friday 9.30-13.30 (except Wednesday) & Wednesday 18.00-21.00
self service refreshments in glass Pita with pork giros Pita with chicken giros Pita with beef (politikos) giros Pita with kalamaki (pork) Pita with kalamaki (chicken) Pita with kebab (beef) Pita with kebab (turkey) Pita burger Pita haloumi (Cypriot cheese)
2.00 € 2.20 € 2.20 € 2.00 € 2.20 € 2.20 € 2.20 € 2.20 € 2.20 €
Museum of the Monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon Telephone: (+30)2821063310 Venizelos House Operation Hours: 8.00-20.00 Address: Αkrotiri Home of Eleftherios Venizelos Telephone: (+30)2821056008 Accessible for people with special needs: Yes Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Museum of the “Akritai” of Europe Telephone: (+30)2823042265 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Collection of Chrysopigi Monastery Telephone: (+30)2821091125 Archeological Museum of Kisamos Telephone: (+30)2822083308 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Museum of the Monastery of Gonia Telephone: (+30)2824022313 Address: Kolympari Museum of Marine Wealth and Fishing Tradition Telephone: (+30)2824023299 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Byzantine and Folk Museum of Spilia Telephone: (+30)2824022080, (+30)2824022357 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Museum of National Resistance (Therisso) Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Archeological Museum of Chania Accessible for people with special needs: Yes Telephone: (+30)2821090334 Archaelogical Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Museum of An. Skalidis Telephone: (+30)2822061052 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Museum of School Life Telephone: (+30)2821074764 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Historical Archives of Crete Telephone: (+30)2821052606 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Accessible for people with special needs: Yes War Museum of Chania Telephone: (+30)2821044156 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Museum of Chemistry Telephone: (+30)2821042504 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00
ONLY 1,40 € Kalamaki (pork) Kalamaki (chicken) Kebab (beef) Kebab (turkey) Sausage Burger (beef) Burger (chicken) Pantsetaki Haloumi (cypriot cheese)
Folk Museum “the Cretan House” Telephone: (+30)2821090816 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection of Chania Telephone: (+30)2821096046 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Accessible for people with special needs: Yes Maritime Museum of Crete Accessible for people with special needs: Yes Telephone: (+30)2821091875, (+30)2821074484 Operation Hours: 09:00-16:00 Maritime Address: Akti Koundourioti, Old harbour
Centre of Mediterranean Architecture Chania, Akti Tombazi 31 (Megalo Arsenali). Tel. (+30)2821040101, (+30)2821040201 Villa Koundourou (Youth Centre and Municipal Cultural Workshop) Chania, 2 Iroon Polytechniou Str., Tel. (+30)2821053730, (+30)2821040896. Open: 9.00-14.00 & 18.00-21.00 Municipal Art Gallery Chania, 98 Chalidon Str. Tel. (+30)2821092294, (+30)2821092419 Mosque of Kioutsouk Hasan (Yali-Tzamisi), Venetial harbour. Tel. (+30)2821083235, (+30)2821083232 Park for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna Technical University of Crete, Akrotiri. Tel. (+30)2821055988. Open: Mon.-Sat.
May: Second fortnight, celebration of the battle of Crete. It includes events commemorating those who were killed and several cultural events. “Koresia” athletic games Canoe kayak at Kournas Lake. Beginning of the summer: Venizelia - Track events at the National Stadium of Chania. May - September: Athletic events in the municipality of Nea Kydonia which include: Beach volley - Beach Soccer - Beach Handball and racket games. July - August - September: Cultural Summer Events of the municipality of Chania.They include music and stage performances at the theatre of Eastern Trench, Public Garden, Venizelio music school, Park of Peace and Friendship and other events in several neighbourhoods of the town. Cultural summer events are also organised by the municipality of Kisamos, Nea Kydonia, Pelekanos and Georgioupolis.
with free refilling 1.00 € 1.20 € 1.20 € 1.20 € 1.00 € 1.00 € 1.20 € 1.00 € 1.20 €
as many times as you like! Mega giros (pork) Kebab buritto (beef) Chicken buritto
3.70 € 3.70 € 3.70 €
(all come with arab pie, french fries and sauce)
Pork flogera Chicken flogera Kebab flogera Sausage flogera
3.50 € 3.50 € 3.50 € 3.70 €
(sandwiches with french fries, veggies and sauce)
In Ya Souvlaki, we cook everything with extra virgin cretan olive oil and we use only fresh cretan products, offering quality and taste.
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The best affordable way to travel Western Crete. Public regular bus service to Chania - Rethimno - Heraklion... and to all the villages of southwestern Crete June: Cherry Festivity in Karanou. 24 June: Festivity of St. Ioannis Klidonas, in Fres, Akrotiri, Perivolia, Therisso, Vamvakopoulo. 29 June - 6 July: Naval week festival. July: Festivity of Kalitsouni cheese pie, in Kandanos. July: Naval week in the old harbour and every second year in Palaiochora and Georgioupolis. 21-28 July: Elafonisia - Municipality of Inahorio. They include: memorial service at the monument of Elafonisi, athletic games, performances, festivity in honour of the elderly and traditional treat. 26 July: “Promotion of Kisamos” - Club, Grambousa pilgrimage excursion from the port of Kisamos to Balos and to the island of Grambousa. 30 July: “Pottery Festival” in Nohia. 30-31 July: Wine festival in Vouves. First Sunday of August: Blessing of the fruit of the earth at the Monastery of Archangel Michael (Rotonda) Kato Episkopi. 8-9 August: Wine festival in Vouves. 1-10 August: Venetian Harbour of Chania photography exhibition for Chania Music Tradition, dance - dancers. 16 August: Honey Festival in Afrata. 1-10 September: Sardine festival in Nea Chora and in Souda. 27 September: World Day of Tourism. Festive events at the old harbour of Chania. End of October or beginning of November: Chestnut festivity in Prases and Elos.
Festivals to honour the saint-protector of each village
Asi Gonia, St. George’s Day, April 23rd or after Easter Day: A big festival. All the shepherds of the area bring their animals to the mass in order to be blessed, then they milk them and distribute the milk to the pilgrims.
Asi Gonia, St George’s Day
da, Alikampos, Kefala, Kalikrati, Koustogerako August 29th,John the Precursor’s: Rodopou Gionas, Douliana, Stylos, Kournas September 8th, το Birth of the Mother of Christ: Gavalohori, Tzitzife, Sassalo September 14th, Feast ofthe Holy Cross: Nippos, Rodovani September 15th St. Nikitas’: Kampia
Monasteries and Churches
The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Chrysopigi lies a short distance from the town of Chania on the route to Souda harbour. Operation Hours: 08.00-12.00 and 15.30-18.00 Telephone: (+30)2821091125, (+30)2821029840 The monastery of Agia Triada of Tzagarolon is one of the richest and most beautiful monasteries in Crete. It is built near the airport of Chania, in the position Tzobomylos of the Cape Melecha and at the foothills of Stavros Mount. The distance from Chania is only 15km.
The monastery of Panagia Chrisoskalitissa is located 72km south of Chania, very close to the magnificent lagoon of Elafonissi. It operates as a nunnery and reminds of a fortress, perched on a 35m high rock with boundless sea views. The Monastery of Saint George in Karydi (in Apokoronas Province) is located about 2km east of Vamos village. The monastery was abandoned for many years but was restored in 1996 and today it is operating normally.
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Giros (chicken), burger (chicken), fillet (chicken), bacon, sausage, pita, french fries, veggies and sauce
Politiki variety (for 1 person)
Giros (beef), burger (beef), kebab (beef), sausage, pita, french fries, veggies and sauce
Ancient Lissos The ruins of Lissos are saved between Paleochora and Sougia. It was the port city of Dorian Elyros. It flourished in the Hellinistic, Roman and the first Vyzantine period and destroyed by the Saracens Arabs. It also issued its own currency, as Lissos. Ancient Tara (St. Roumeli) The ruins of the ancient city Taras found at south coast of Crete near the village of Agia Roumeli. The city flourished particularly during the Roman era. They found the remains of a temple, possibly dedicated to Artemis and Apollo. Archaeological site of ancient Anopolis The archaeological site of ancient Anopolis located 87 km south of Chania. Anopolis was an independent city during the classical times and flourished during the Roman and Byzantine times. Firkas Castle
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The best affordable way to travel Western Crete. Public regular bus service to Chania - Rethimno - Heraklion... and to all the villages of southwestern Crete Information for travelers with Physical Disabilities Since entering the European Union, there have been some efforts to make access for the disabled easier. However, a combination of factors has made this far from comprehensive. The major factors are the topography of the island, the nature of its most import sites, and the economy. Many hotels and other types of accommodations are in historic buildings, without elevators and often with many stairs to various facilities. This is especially true in small villages, and in the Old Town sections of cities. Getting into most public establishments (and to the toilet, once you’re in there) usually means stairs. Historic sites like the ancient ruins of Knossos will be very difficult to fully explore for those confined to wheelchairs and who have difficulty walking, although many of them (including Knossos) have significant sections that can be explored to create a rewarding experience. The Old Towns of cities (like Chania) and small mountain villages are hilly, often with steps from one area to another. Nonetheless, there are still places in most of these that can be explored. A wheelchair-bound person or one with walking difficulty will not be able to see everything, but they can still see a rewarding amount of things. Most government buildings, hospitals, museums, and office buildings in cities and large towns have elevators and wheelchair ramps. You will also find wheelchair ramps at many restaurants and hotels in areas that cater to tourists. Virtually all of the four and five-star hotels have ramps, elevators and/or handicapped accessible rooms and facilities. Sidewalks in cities and larger towns will have ramps at intersections. Even able-bodied travelers should take care whenever crossing a street, as cars rarely stop for pedestrians in crosswalks - although they usually stop at red lights. If you have physical difficulties with walking or are confined to a wheelchair, it is important that you research your pro-
spective lodging carefully and ask clear questions. Ask the advice of people who live on the island or go on one of the expat forums to get questions answered. Even with the obstacles that exist, it is possible to enjoy a rewarding visit. Smart tips Some hotels only have certain rooms that can be accessed by wheelchair, so again get the travel agent to contact before travel or get a contact number. Don’t rely on coach transfers, as they will have limited accessibility. Make sure you know all about the resort your visiting, some countries don’t cater at all well for the disabled traveller although I would say that most parts of Crete are ok. Most hotels in Crete don’t have good lift access so request ground floor rooms when possible just incase. Don’t try and cram everything into the first 24 hours, make sure you relax and take it easy, the heat of the Cretan summer can quickly dehydrate you and make you tired. A special place to stay Eria resort is the first hotel in Greece, that has been designed to offer the most pleasant and comfortable holidays to people with accessibility needs, their families and their escorts. Eria Resort is a model Hotel, exemplary in conception and function all over Greece and worldwide. Eria Resort has been specially designed from scratch with disabled guests in mind in strict compliance with all current specifications for disabled access. The Resort is located in the coastal and historic village of Máleme, the prefecture of Haniá, Crete. The area is easily accessible by wheelchair. All the hotel facilities are fully accessible to people with disabilities. The fine furnishings and decoration of both the interior and exterior spaces of our Hotel, the high quality services and the hospitable, cosy environment of Eria Resort, guarantee a pleasant and comfortable stay for guests with accessibility needs, their families and/or escorts. Accessible Sightseeing in Crete Except the accessible monuments and sightseeings in Chania Prefecture, you may also visit:
Heraklion Museum The main floor is accessible. Still well worth a visit as most of the most renowned Minoan objects are on the first floor. Knossos Many areas are accessible by wheelchair, but watch out for sudden unprotected drops. The initial access is relatively smooth. The once-trecherous deep circular pits or kouloura have railings now. There are also many tours organized daily for people with disabilities, such as: - City tour of Chania and the Old Venetian Harbor - Lefka Ori and Samaria Gorge - Kournas Lake and old villages of Apokoronas - Knossos Minoan Palace and the City of Heraklion - Orthodox Academy in Kolimbari and Kastelli (Kissamos) - City of Rethimno and the Monastery of Arkadi - City of Aghios Nikolaos and Oropedio Lassithiou Some of the accessible shops, restaurants, bars and cafés in Chania and Platanias: The Olive Tree Restaurant (Platanias) Ariadne Restaurant (Platanias) Moutoupaki Traditional Taverna (Old City of Chania) Kipos Café (Municipal Park of Chania) Rock House Bar (Platanias) Club Tropicano (Platanias) Akti Beach Bar and Restaurant (Platanias) Botanical Park Restaurant (Fournes) Mikro Efeteio Restaurant and Café (Chania) Tzaneris and Archontissa Traditional Taverna (Keramia) Koukouvaya Café (Venizelos Tombs, Akrotiri) Xyloskalo Restaurant and Café (Omalos) Caretta-Caretta Restaurant (Agia Marina) Family’s Grill House (Agia Marina) Icon (Chania) Veranta (Agia Marina) Skoniako (Platanias) Adama (Platanias) Limnoupolis Water Park (Varipetro) Apovrado (Chania) El Mondo (Chania) Epohes (Chania) Italian Factory Outler (Kounoupidiana-Akrotiri)
The Holy Monastery of Partenon or Life-Giving Spring was founded by the Bishop of Kisamos & Selinon Anthimos Leledakis in 1905-1910. It was renovated between 1962 and 1965, by Bishop Irineos Galanakis.
Early Christian Basilica at Almyrida Apokoronou. It is an early Christian three-aisled basilica of the second half of the 6th century. The church of St George in the centre of Kournas, a settlement with interesting folk architecture. It was built at the end of the 12th century.
self service refreshments in glass Giros (pork), burger (beef), sausage, kalamaki (pork), pita, french fries, veggies and sauce
Katholiko monastery is located 20km east of Chania, near the northern shores of Cape Akrotiri. It is located near the exit of the gorge Avlaki, at a short distance from the sea.
St George of Mythimna - Kisamos. The single-room, vaulted church of St George in the archeological site of Methymna, near Drapania of Kisamos, was built during the first half of the 15th century, in the place of a late Roman Bath.
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Ancient Aptera This site is located 15 km South-east of Chania, near the village Megala Chorafia. The strategic location of the city with two ports, Minoa (modern Marathi) and Kissamos (near Kalives today) at the entrance of the natural bay, which guaranteed the possibility to control the movement of trade, boosted its growth. Ancient Polirinia The ancient city was Polirinia in place of the village Polirinia Kissamos, 49 km west of Chania. At the top of the hill was the citadel of which was T-shaped, from where the view was immense, from Crete to the Libyan Sea, which stretched the realm. Ancient Falasarna The site of the ancient Falassarna located on the western edge of Cap Gramvousa the west coast of Crete. The town was surveyed again in the 19th century by English tourists, who identified the village and closed the port.
Gouverneto Monastery. The actual Monastery complex was built from 1537 till 1548. According to tradition, it was connected with miraculous St John the Hermit, and was used for the housing of the Saint’ s pilgrims. Telephone: (+30)2821063319
Monastery of Pasinos. It is a complex of monasteries built during the Venetian rule (16th century). It architectural style is western, the church being placed in the centre of the complex.
Agios Ioannis Sfakion, St John’s Feast, May 8th: Traditional festival of Sfakia. Azogyre, The Holy Fathers’ Feast, October 7th: In the beautiful village with the visitable impressive cave of the Holy Fathers. Elos, Agios Dikaios,May 6th: Extraordinary view and a unique fair. Lissos, St Kyrikos, July 15th: The pilgrims start arriving ancient Lissos on foot or in boats from Sougiaγια early in the afternoon of the previous day. A real fair of Selino in a mythical place. Sembronas, Apopigadi, St. John’s, June 24th: One of the feasts, that take place on a very high location, with an incredible view. Sougia, Harey, St. Antony 1-2 of July: Unique traditional fair at the seaside small church which is situated in Harey. The route on foot from through the E4 path that lead from Sougia to Agia Roumeli lasts two hours with the unique background of the Lybian sea and piney slopes. It is possible to go there also by boat from Sougia. Overnight stay outdoor. Therisso, Assumption of the Mother of God, August 15th: In the beautiful village where Eleftherios Venizelos declared the revolution of 1905. Sfakia, Thymiani Panagia, last Sunday of May. Chrysoskalitissa, the Assumption of the Virgin, August 15th: At the beautiful monastery, which is a real «balcony» to the Lybian Sea a famous festival takes place. Frangokastello, St. Nikitas’, September 15th: Big festival during which riding races take place. August 6th, the Transfiguration: Ksirosterni, Tzitzife, Karres of Kissamos, Sassalo August 15th the Assymption of the Virgin: Voulgaro Panagia of the Summit, Kolympari Gonia, Pemonia, Fre, Eksopolis, Litsar-
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Castle Firkas was built in the 16th century by the Venetians to protect the city of Chania. There Venizelos declared the official union of Crete with Greece. Today it hosts the Maritime Museum and a small theater. Souda’s Castle The castle is built on the islet of Souda, and protected the port of Souda and Chania. It occupies almost the entire island. Built in 1715 and surrendered to the Ottomans in 1715. On February 14 the Greek flag was raised, lowering the Turkish and giving the signal that there is now the Greek sovereignty over the island of Crete. Intzedin Castle Located 14 km east of Chania. Has been characterized as historical monument. Built in 1872 in the position of the tower was built in 1646 by the Turks, who drove the Venetians. The name comes from the name of the son of Sultan Abdul Aziz Intzedin. Has been used as a prison for political prisoners, among them which has been the El. Venizelos. During the dictatorship of Pangalos many dissidents jailed, and when the dictatorship fell, Pangalos was imprisoned there too. Finally, from the isolation rooms of Yaros, in 1948, the first communist political prisoners were moved there.
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Beef kebab (2 pcs), turkey kebab (2 pcs), pork kalamaki (2 pcs), chicken kalamaki (2 pcs), sausage (2 pcs), pantsetakia (2 pcs), pita (2 pcs), veggies, french fries, sauce (1/2 Grilled stiva 7.00 €)
all come with double pita, sauce (red or yellow), gouda cheese, tomato, lettuce and french fries
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In Ya Souvlaki, we cook everything with extra virgin cretan olive oil and we use only fresh cretan products, offering quality and taste.
Platanias Chania Tel. 0030 28210 68863 email@example.com
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The best affordable way to travel Western Crete. Public regular bus service to Chania - Rethimno - Heraklion... and to all the villages of southwestern Crete
The area enables the individual hiker to explore the nature and the beauty of the county via routes that are unparalleled beauty. The most appropriate to inform the interested visitor is the Mountaineering Club of Chania. The E4 Path begins in the Pyrenees mountains across Greece, arrives at Kissamos, across Crete to Kato Zakros and finally arrives in Cyprus. As far as the track is part of the prefecture of Chania, it passes from coastal areas and the White Mountains. The main routes of the European path are the following : Kasteli Kissamou – Sfinari Length: 22,5 km, Best season: Spring – Autumn Sfinari – Chrysoskalitisa Monastery Length: 32 km, Best season: Spring – Autumn Chrysoskalitisa - Palaiochora Length: 22 km, Best season: Spring – Autumn Sougia – Agia Roumeli Length: 13 km, Best Season: All year Loutro - Fragokastelo Length : 19,5 km, Best Season: All year Sougia - Koustogerako-Omalos Length: 24,5 km, Best season: Spring – Autumn Agia Triada - Gouverneto – Katholiko Route Difficulty: Very Easy, Route Duration: 2 Hours Visit Period : All Year Gorge of St Irene – Sfakia Route Duration: 3 Hours, Route Length: 8 km Visit Period : All Year , Route Difficulty: Normal Paleochora - Sougia Route Difficulty: Easy, Route Length: 14,5 m Route Duration: 6 Hours, Visit Period : All Year National Park of Samaria Route Difficulty: Easy, Route Duration: 6 Hours Route Length: 18 16 km, km Visit Period : May-October
Gavdos Route Difficulty: Very Easy, Visit Period : May-October Douliana – Gavalohori Route Difficulty: Easy, Route Duration: 1 Hours Visit Period : All Year On the Summit of Kigilos Route Difficulty: Normal, Route Duration: 7 Hours Visit Period : All Year Agia Roumeli - Agios Ioannis Route Difficulty: Easy, Route Duration: 5 Hours Visit Period : All Year Gorge of Polyrrenia Route Difficulty: Easy, Route Duration: 3 Hours Visit Period : All Year Sasalos-Makronas (Halase gorge) Route Difficulty: Normal, Route Duration: 4 Hours
The Gorge of Samaria Route Length: 18 km Route Duration: 7 Hours Visit Period : May-October Address: Lefka Ori The Gorge of Imbros in Sfakia Route Duration: 2 Hours Route Length: 8 km Address: Chora Sfakion The Gorge of Agia Irini in Selino Route Duration: 3 Hours Route Length: 7.5 km Address: Selino The Gorge of Aradena in Sfakia Route Duration: 2.5 Hours Route Length: 5.5 km Address: Aradena, Sfakia The Gorge of Elygia The Gorge of Trypitis Route Duration: 8.5 Hours The Gorge of Diktamou Route Duration: 3.5 Hours The Gorge of Therisso or Eleutheriou Venizelou Route Length: 6 km The Gorge of Chalase or Sasalou Route Duration: 4 Hours The Gorge of Prasse Route Duration: 2 Hours The Gorge of Kavi or Iligga Route Duration: 3 Hours The Gorge of Asfendou Route Duration: 3 Hours The Gorge of Kalikrati Route Duration: 3 Hours The Gorge of Katholikou Route Duration: 0.5 Hours
Kallergi Capacity: 45 Route Difficulty: Easy Route Duration: 1 Hours Visit Period : April-October Svourikti - Holiopoulos Capacity: 20 Route Difficulty: Easy Route Duration: 3 Hours Tavri Capacity: 40 Route Difficulty: Very Easy Route Duration: 1.5 Hour Route Length: 7.7 km Volikas Capacity: 30 Route Duration: 3 Hour
Cave of Panos or Lera The cave “Panos or Lera” is developed in Mount Vardies, at an altitude of 70m., in the settlement Stavros Kydonias. It consists of an “antechamber”
and four rooms with chiselled cavities, which have been explained as places for the welcome of statues. Cave of Asfentos The cave “of Asfentos” is situated at the position”Skordolakia”, at the westeastern part of the beginning of the gorge of Asfentos . Cave of Hagia Sofia The cave of “Agia Sofia” is at the western walls of the gorgo of Topolia, at a distance of 47 km from the city of Chania. It consists of two rooms on different levels.
The Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves
The Olive Tree Museum of Vouves is ideally located next to the Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves, the oldest olive tree in the world, which is visited by approximately 20.000 people every year from all over the world. There are at least ten more monumental olive trees in this area, namely the same number of trees as in the whole of Crete. The museum is housed in a traditional building, which maintains all the characteristics of an austere and, at the same time, authentic, intelligent and functional folk architecture of this area, the preservation of which constitutes one of the cultural objectives set by municipal authorities. The building was donated to the Municipality by the family of Panagiotis Karapatakis, who used it as its residence. The Olive Tree Museum of Vouves is located in the village of Ano Vouves, aprox. 30 km west of Chania. Take the Chania – Kissamos national road (E65) and use the Kolibari exit, in order to proceed west (to the left) towards the Village of Spilia. Then, just follow the signs leading to Ano Vouves village and to the Olive Tree Museum of Vouves. Olive Tree Museum of Vouves (Free Entrance) Information: tel. +3028240-22279, +306945157667 Welcome to Chania. Welcome to the place that has been uninterruptedly populated since 3500 B.C. Here the past encounters the present in a harmonious composition. Minoans, Arabs, Venetians, Ottomans carved space and time in cultural monuments that uniquely blend beauty with the natural monuments, the endemic fauna and flora, the vivid colours and intense scents of the landscape of Chania. Meanwhile, life goes on: modern tourist facilities, high technology, supply of perfect services. Here the greyish green olive groves and the golden orange groves shine under the life-giving sun; here the sea stretches out and embraces the sky, losing itself indistinguishably in the infinite blue, in the infinite green; here tradition has been kept intact over time, passing down its special colours and qualities. Among them, the Cretan cuisine, with its delicious healthy meals, offering unrivalled gastronomic experiences, constitutes the point of reference of a diachronic culture. Here the land follows its own rhythm 365 days a year, the land lives to the beat of important cultural and sports events, popular feasts, the revival of old customs, music and dancing nights, giving thrills and arousing emotions, initiating the visitor into the secrets to the good life, exalting the soul and the body. Welcome to Chania, a destination that will be carved in your memory for ever. Apostolos Voulgarakis You will surely be back! Vice Prefect of Chania
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The best affordable way to travel Western Crete. Public regular bus service to Chania - Rethimno - Heraklion... and to all the villages of southwestern Crete
MUNICIPALITY OF CHANIA
IA N A H C . . . Y M F O TOP
is not only... Chania city
Municipal Market The Municipal Market of Chania, the large building of 4000 square meters in a surrounding area of 17.200 square meters, is the “heart” of the city. It is an original building that, apart from a business activity center, also provides a concrete image of the ancient Greek marketplace. Great for shopping tradiotional Cretan products.
Georgioupolis A resort village 43 km east of Chania, about 22 km west of Rethymno. Formerly a small fishing village, Georgioupolis is very much a tourist town now, with many cafés, tavernas and small hotels and apartment blocks.
Venizelos Tombs One of the most popular spots offering a panoramic view of Chania are the Venizelos family tombs, a few kilometres east of the city, on the road to Akrotiri and the airport.
MUNICIPALITY OF KANDANOS-SELINO
Sougia Located in a distance of 70 roughly km south-western of Chania. It is built in the ruins of the ancient Syias where mainly in the Roman and first Byzantine period people lived here. Saved ruins are vaulted graves and water reservoirs from the Roman period and a church from the 4th century with eminent mosaics. Nice beach where you can have free camping.
Old Harbour Chania’s old Venetian Harbor is the most picruresque and world wide known site seen of the hole Crete. Lots of choices to drink your coffee, to have lunch or dinner in the restaurants or enjoy shopping time. Stavros Stavros is located on Akrotiri, only 13km from Chania, 3km from the airport and 10km from Souda harbour. One of the finest beaches for swimming. British Commonwealth War Cemetery in Souda Bay The War cemetery is a quiet and restful place for the allied forces who lost their lives here on the Battle of Crete in 1941. Aghia Marina Agia Marina is one of the most important tourist resorts of Chania. Great beach for swimming and lots of choices for shopping, eating and clubbing.
MUNICIPALITY OF PLATANIAS
Thodorou Just a few miles to the north west of the port of Chania. The island is a nature reserve and it is therefore forbidden to go ashore, except that is for one day a year (8 June), when visitors are allowed to take the path to the church and back in order to worship. Platanias The heart of tourism in western Crete. Everything can be found in Platanias... swimming, eating, clubbing, shopping. A “must” place to visit or stay. All days and all nights are different in Platanias and you will find out why. Maleme German Cemetery The cemetery is 3km south up the winding paved road. The 4,465 men buried here fell in the Battle of Crete in May of 1941. The Germans landed at the small airport of Maleme when they attacked Crete. Samaria Gorge If you come to Chania and you don’t pass through the Samara Gorge then your visit is just... incomplete. The Samariá Gorge is a National Park of Greece, a major tourist attraction of the island and a World’s Biosphere Reserve. A must for visitors to Crete is to complete the walk down the gorge from the Omalos plateau to Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea. The village of Samariá lies just inside the gorge. It was finally abandoned by the last remaining inhabitants in 1962 to make way for the park.
ed by wonderful sandy beaches with crystalline waters like Kalyves and Kiani Akti. Good place for shopping with lots of traditional tavernas. Just 3 km away is Almyrida, with traditional travernas to enjoy lunch after your swimming.
MUNICIPALITY OF SFAKIA
Frangokastello The castle of Frangokastello stands since centuries. It reminds of the Venetians, Turks and Greeks, battles and blood, slaughters and sacrifices. The legends are still alive, taking us in their own world and left the “Drosoulites”, visiting us again some magic mornings. Sfakia The south-eastern region of the Prefecture of Chania is called Municipality of Sfakia and includes the villages Hora Sfakion, Anopoli, Agios Ioannis, Agia Roumeli, Asfendou, Loutro, Patsianos, Skaloti, Impros, Askifou and Fragkokastello. The distamce to Chania is about 70 kilometres. Entire Sfakia is characterized by the natural beauty of wild mountainous landscape which is combined unique with the sea. Loutro The village was named by the baths that were found there. The water was coming from Anopoli. Between the old buildings that you can see there, there is also the goverment building that was used during the revolution at 1821. From Loutro you can visit the ruins of ancient Aradenas with the Byzantine church of archangel Michail and Anopolis. Perfect place for a weekend escape. Aghia Roumeli It is a coastal settlement in south-western Crete and it allocates a wide beach while the access is feasible only with boats from Hora Sfakion, via Loutro and from Palaiochora or Sougia, while the village does not allocate road access. Constitutes popular tourist destination because it is located at the southern entry of the Gorge of Samaria, the biggest gorge in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe with a length of 18 kilometres.
MUNICIPALITY OF APOKORONAS
Kalyves Picturesque village located about 20 kilometres east of Chania, in one of the greenest areas of Greece. The village It is surround-
Paleochora Located in the south-western part of the prefecture. The distance to Chania is about 70 kilometres. It is built on a peninsula between two beautiful bays where it is rained by the Lybian Sea and it is right to consider it the “Nymph of the Lybian Sea” and “Land of the sun”. The movement in the region is high in summertime, on one side from the excursionists choosing it as the harbour of departure to the Island of Gavdos, Sougia, Agia Roumeli, Loutro and Sfakia and return from the Samaria Gorge, on the other from the holiday-makers that select it as a place of their summer vacations.Palaiochora has all the benefits the visitor needs as banks, doctors, supermarket, drugstores, police, post, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, port authority, custom, cinema, bars, disco, and rented cars. Elafonissi When the weather is fine it is possible to walk to the island through the shallow water. The island is a protected nature reserve. On the mainland the 17th century Chrysoskalitissa Monastery is approximately 5 km from the island. One of the best places for swimming in the whole world
MUNICIPALITY OF KISSAMOS
Falassarna May be the best beach on earth, as awarded by its visitors. The place to be for swimming. Also, don’t miss the great party the first weekend of August. Gramvousa-Balos At the north western point of Crete you will find Gramvousa, a small island with an impregnable castle, a fortress, a masterpiece of the 16th century, and Balos, the unique lagoon of Crete, with its blue green waters, it pink sandy beach and famous shells! An impressive and unique environment of steep rocks and cliffs, an immense blue sea and hidden sandy beaches, and the serene lagoon of Balos, combines with the remains of the long lasting history of the region: monasteries, churches and the imposing castle of Imeri Gramvousa.
MUNICIPALITY OF GAVDOS
Gavdos is a small island which is located 26 naval miles (48 kilometres) southern of Crete and it’s extent is 27 square kilometres. It is the most southern Greek and simultaneously European point with population of 98 residents. Perfect for a daily cruise.
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added after which the building became a Christian school and then the Town Hall from 1928 to 1941. The Grand Arsenal was partly destroyed by the aerial bombardment in 1941 and it has only been completely restored as the Center of Mediterranean Architecture since 1997. Neoria, Akti Enoseos Seven Venetian-built arsenali or dry-docks line the main eastern basin of the harbour, of which there were originally seventeen. These long, contiguous vaulted arsenali, fifty meters in length and ten meters in height, were constructed between 1461 and 1599 for the purposes of shipbuilding and ship repairs for the Eastern Mediterranean Venetian fleet during the winter months. The buildings were open-ended with the sea reaching the entrances so that the ship could be pulled up from out of the water into the sheds and worked on under cover. Minoan Ship, Moro Dock In this refurbished Venetian-built arsenal, the Moro dock, is a reconstructed fifteenth century BC Minoan ship, the Minoa, as part of an exhibition on ancient navigation. The Moro docks are two dry-docks named after the Venetian General Overseer of the time who proposed their construction in 1607. Yali Tzamisi Mosque, Akti Koundourioti The Mosque of the Janissaries (also called Kucuk Hassan or Yali Mosque) is the oldest Islamic structure in Crete. The Janissaries were the Turkish soldiers stationed in Chania and elsewhere around the island assigned to keep law and order following the Turkish conquest of Crete. This mosque was built in 1645 on the site of a small Venetian church dedicated to San Nicolo so that the Janissaries had a place to pray. The Lighhouse, Venetian Harbour The Faros lighthouse is the oldest existing lighthouse in Greece and was constructed by the Venetian Navy to protect Chania’s harbour and dry-docks at the turn of the sixteenth century. Renieri Gate and Agios Nikolaos Chapel, Theofanous str. Further along Theofanous Street is the Palazzo di Pietro (also called the Palazzo Renieri), the former residence of the Venetian aristocratic Renieri family. Although the palace complex, as a whole, has not survived intact, both its monumental gate and private chapel remain well-preserved. Kal Kadosh Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Kondylaki str. About halfway up Kondylaki is a small lane leading to the Etz Hayyim Synagogue which was once the principal centre of Jewish religious and cultural life in Chania. The building itself dates to the late fifteenth, early sixteenth centuries and was once the Venetian Church of St. Catherine that was destroyed during the large-scale pirate attack of the city led by Barbarossa. Stivanadika, Skrydlof str. For centuries, Skrydlof Street or Leather Lane was the center of the manufacturing and selling of leather goods, especially “stivania”, the traditional long Cretan boots worn by men, both in urban and rural areas, together with wide baggy trousers known as ‘vraka’ and the idiosyncratic black fringed head-scarf. Although most leather goods are now produced in factories outside of Chania and are of significantly lesser quality, this street still retains an air of an eastern market or souk where it is still possible to buy made-to-measure, hand-made boots. Behind the shops lining the southern side of this street are traces of the original Venetian defense wall that defined the southern perimeters of Chania during the Venetian period.
Tsouderon and Chatzimihali Daliani str. Immediately to the north of the Municipal Market is narrow pedestrianized streets in the old Muslim neighborhood of Splantzia. Today, the streets are home to shoe repairers and shoe-makers, traditional jewelers, seamstresses, clothes designers, a cultural center, bars, cafes, restaurants, as well as several historical sites of interest including the former Monastery Santa Maria della Misericordia and an old mosque with its minaret still standing. Church of San Rocco, Splantzia The Venetian-built Church of San Rocco was constructed in 1630 on the northwest corner of Splantzia Square (also called 1821 Square). It is dedicated to Saint Rocco (also Saint Roch, Saint Roche) as evidenced by the Latin inscription over the building’s entrance and the entablature along the top of the building which reads: “Dedicated to God the Great and Mighty and to the Divine Rocco. 1630”. Splantzia Square (1821) Splantzia Square, also called 1821 Square, is the heart of Splantzia with the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Nikolaos dominating the square on its eastern side and the Church of San Rocco to its northwest. Church of Agios Nikolaos, Splantzia The Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Nikolaos was constructed in 1320 by the Dominican brotherhood of Kantia, forming part of the Venetian-built Dominican Monastery of San Nicolo immediately to its north. The church was later converted into the main mosque of the city, the Mosque of Sultan Ibrahim, also called the Hugar Mosque or Mosque of the Ruler in 1645 and a minaret was added on its south side with two distinctive circular balconies called “serifiedes”, no doubt indicating its significance as the principle city mosque. For many years, a sword of the first Turkish dervish to enter Chania in 1645 was stored inside the mosque as a sacred and miracle-working relic. In 1918, the Orthodox Christians of Chania took over the church and re-dedicated it to the memory of Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of sailors. Sabbionara Bastion and Gate (Moncenigo Bastion) The bastion and gate of Sabbionara, also known as Moncenigo bastion formed part of the sixteenth century Venetian fortification system of the city and was completed in 1591. Located on the north-east corner of the city, this is the only surviving gate in Chania, its appearance significantly modified during the Ottoman Turkish period when its size was reduced. Of note, the circular Venetian emblem of the Lion of St. Mark is preserved on the front the bastion, together with a coat of arms and the date. Public Garden, Tzanakaki str. Situated between Papandreas and Tzanakaki Streets in the New Town, the public gardens were first planned and laid out by Turkish Pasha, Reouf, in 1870 to a distinctly European design. In the early twentieth century, a café was opened with both indoor and outdoor facilities that are still in use today, alongside an open air auditorium used as a cinema in the summer months, a small animal enclosure and a children’s play area. Chania’s clock-tower was added in the north-east corner of the gardens between 1924 and 1927 with an unusual tripartite design by local engineer, D. Kollaris. DID YOU KNOW THAT... Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. It has a population of almost 600,000. The island is 160 miles long and 35 miles wide at its widest point.
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Spearfishing in Crete... A thrilling hobby Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has pending on location. In some locations divers can experibeen used throughout the world for millennia. Early civ- ence drop-offs from 5 to 40 metres (16 to 130 ft) close to the ilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish shore line. Sharks and reef fish can be abundant in these from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks. locations. In subtropical areas, sharks may be less common, Today modern spearfishing makes use of elastic powered but other challenges face the shore diver, such as managspearguns and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic pow- ing entry and exit in the presence of big waves. Headlands ered spearguns, to strike the hunted fish. Specialized tech- are favored for entry because of their proximity to deeper niques and equipment have been developed for various water, but timing is important so the diver does not get types of aquatic environments and target fish. pushed onto rocks by waves. Beach entry can be safer, but Spearfishing may be done using “It is a particular hobby with enthusiastic fans. more difficult due the need to consisfree-diving, snorkeling, or scuba div- Spearfishing with scuba diving. A great way to en- tently dive through the waves until the ing techniques. Spearfishing while us- joy the magic of beautiful sea blue and the agony surf line is crossed. ing scuba equipment is illegal in some of chasing fish. Chasing for food is written in the Shore dives produce mainly reef fish, countries. The use of mechanically human DNA for millions of years. If someone fol- but ocean going pelagic fish are caught powered spearguns is also outlawed lows spearfishing’s safety rules, he can live all the from shore dives too, and can be spein some countries and jurisdictions. thrill of this great hobby. cifically targeted. Shore diving can be Spearfishing is highly selective, nor- But, what are the safety rules? done with trigger-less spears, but more mally uses no bait and has no by-catch. 1. The most important is to dive always with some- commonly triggered devices such as spearguns. Speargun setups to catch one else and never alone. Conservation 2. Also, another person on the surface has to watch and store fish include speed rigs and Spearfishing has been implicated in lo- us when we dive, in case of emergency. fish stringers. cal extinction of some species, includ- 3. We must always have a buoy with us. A plastic ing the Atlantic goliath grouper on the float with flags, usually white with red or yellow Boat diving Caribbean island of Bonaire, the Nas- with red, indicating the position in the sea and Boats, ships, kayaks, or even jetski can sau grouper in the barrier reef off the alert passing boats that there is an underwater be used to access offshore reefs or coast of Belize, the giant black sea bass activity. ocean structure. Man-made structures in California, and others. On the oth- 4. You should never overestimate your capabilities. such as oil rigs and Fish Aggregating er hand, in countries such as Australia You must feel good, not to have consumed alcohol Devices (FADs) are also fished. Somewhere the sport is regulated by state or food, be well rested and feel that you can move times a boat is necessary to access a fisheries, spearfishing has been found comfortably in the deep sea. location that is close to shore, but inacto be the most environmentally friend- Besides, no fish worths our lives... and don’t forget cessible by land. ly form of fishing due to being highly that the good spearfisherman is not the one who Methods and gear used for boat diving selective, having no by-catch, causing catches a lot of fish, but the one who returns home. are similar to shore diving or blue water no habitat damage, nor creating pollu- So, have a nice dive, always with safety!” hunting, depending on the target prey. tion or harm to protected endangered Boat diving is practiced worldwide. species. In 2007, the Australian Eftihia Pentaraki – Spearfisher-wo-man Bluewater Freediving Classic became Blue water hunting the first spearfishing tournament to be accredited and was Blue water hunting involves diving in open ocean waters for awarded 4 out of 5 stars based on environmental, social, pelagic species. It involves accessing usually very deep and safety and economic indicators. clear water and trolling, chumming for large pelagic fish species such as marlin, tuna, or giant trevally. Blue water Shore diving hunting is often conducted in drifts; the boat driver drops Shore diving is perhaps the most common form of spear- divers and allow them to drift in the current for up to several fishing and simply involves entering and exiting the sea kilometers before collecting them. Blue water hunters can from beaches or headlands and hunting around ocean go for hours without seeing any fish, and without any ocean structures, usually reef, but also rocks, kelp or sand. Usually structure or a visible bottom the divers can experience senshore divers hunt at depths of 5–25 metres (16–82 ft), de- sory deprivation and have difficulty determining the size of
a solitary fish. One technique to overcome this is to note the size of the fish’s eye in relation to its body—large specimens have a proportionally smaller eye. The creation of the Australian Bluewater Freediving Classic in 1995 in northern New South Wales was a revolutionary way of creating interest and promotion of this format of conservative underwater hunting, and contributed to the formation of the International Bluewater Spearfishing Records Committee. The I.B.S.R.C. formed in 1996, was the first dedicated organization worldwide, created by recognized world leaders in blue-water hunting, to record and regulate the capture of pelagic species by blue-water hunters. Notably, blue water hunters make use of breakaway rigs and large multi-band wooden guns to catch and subdue their prey. If the prey is large and still has fight left after being subdued, a second gun can provide a kill shot at a safe distance. This is acceptable to IBSRC and IUSA regulations as long as the spearfisher loads it himself in the water. Freshwater hunting Many US states allow spearfishing in lakes and rivers, but nearly all of them restrict divers to shooting only rough fish such as carp, gar, bullheads, suckers, etc. A few US states do allow the taking of certain gamefish such as sunfish, crappies, striped bass, catfish and walleyes. Freshwater hunters typically have to deal with widely varying seasonal changes in water clarity due to flooding, algae blooms and lake turnover. Some especially hardy midwestern and north central SCUBA divers go spearfishing under the ice in the winter when water clarity is at its best. In the summer the majority of freshwater spearfisherman use snorkeling gear rather than SCUBA since many of the fish they pursue are in relatively shallow water. Carp shot by freshwater spear fisherman typically end up being used as fertilizer, bait for trappers, or are occasionally donated to zoos. Equipment Speargun, Polespear, Hawaiian slings, Wet Suit, Weight belt or weight vest, Fins, Knife, Iki jime or kill spike, Buoy or float, Floatline, Gloves, Fish Stringer, Snorkel and diving mask.